I have to say, this latest episode of Battlestar Galactica was a little bit of a dud. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the episode, but after a string of several episodes with some excellent writing and great action, I felt that this latest episode didn’t measure up to the high standards the series has established for itself. Although I love the show because it leaves a lot of questions to be settled by the viewer, by the end of this show, I sort of felt lost, and dare I say dissatisfied. Then again, perhaps the writers gave us this mess, and are going to help us sort through it through the rest of the season. But I am getting ahead of myself. Before we can talk about the questions we were asking at the end of the episode, we should talk about what we were wondering at the beginning. We know that the Colonial Fleet is about to go guns blazing to destroy the Cylon resurrection ship, and both Admiral Cain and Commander Adama have plans to assassinate the other.We start the episode out with a dream sequence. It looks like crazy Gaius is adrift floating in the ocean. This guy has had some strange dreams, but it’s odd because they almost always involve his hot Cylon friend Six. But upon closer inspection, it isn’t Baltar at all, it is Lee Adama. And after a little time passes, we see that it isn’t that Lee is dreaming as much as he is hallucinating. He is not really floating in a pool of water; he is really floating in the empty void of space. In the background are explosions, but how did he get there? Well, I would love to tell you, but once again, I have to deal with that “48 hours earlier” bullshit. What the hell is it with my sci-fantasy shows pulling this on me twice in one week? UGH. I guess this is why people watch NCIS.
So, let’s take it back a few days. Let’s just say that tensions are wee bit high. How high were the tensions? Well, if tensions were equal to craziness, we would be talking about Tom Cruise, Margaret Perrin, and Jeff Conaway threesome. Starbuck just learned from Commander Adama that she was going to have to kill Admiral Cain. Now, we know that Kara has the guts to do it, but she really admires the admiral. She may be the one pulling the trigger, but that doesn’t mean that she is going to go it alone. Starbuck tells Lee about the mission, and although he is unsure of how wise this is he would much rather support Kara in her decision than try and stay on the sidelines and do nothing. Apollo tells her that he will help her because he knows that there is nothing more important than trust, and if you can’t trust the word of your fellow human, you are no better than the Cylons.
Speaking of no better than the Cylons, a few people from the Pegasus decide to pay a visit to Tyrol and Helo. A lot of people have been eagerly anticipating the deaths of these two traitors, and a few of them decide that they are going to soften up Tyrol and Helo for good measure. They started strapping them down, and for a moment I thought that they were going to give the two prisoners what they saved Sharon from, but the people who came in to beat them wanted to give them a different kind of lesson. I was a little skeptical when I saw one of them looking long and hard at a bar of soap, but this wasn’t Prison Break and so the soap was simply wrapped up in a towel and used to beat Tyrol and Helo in the gut.
Just as things start to get interesting, Colonel Fisk, the Executive Officer of the Pegasus walks in and stops the two members of the Pegasus, from doing any more damage. He says that since the prisoners are wearing Colonial uniforms, they will be treated with respect. Although it may seem like he was showing humanity, Fisk’s only concerns were about protocol. Lt. Thorne had saved many lives on Pegasus and he was a hero. Some may argue that he was going to rape a prisoner, and that isn’t protocol either, but Fisk wonders if you can even rape a machine. And not to make light of the situation, but if I was creating the next model of Cylons, I would have a little self destruct device implanted so that if anything happens, nobody can make them talk. This theory was also about the only thing that made sense in that movie Impostor.
As I said earlier, it was going to be difficult for Starbuck to kill Cain because she really did admire the admiral a lot. Even though Sharon saved her on Caprica, Kara saw what the Cylons were capable of, and she was not that interested in showing any mercy. Admiral Cain offers Starbuck a drink, and they begin to talk a little bit about things. It’s almost as if the senior office knows exactly what is going through Kara’s mind about the mission. Cain says she understands why Starbuck is close with Commander Adama, and admires that he is a good man that has made tough choices. She has also made tough choices, and the only thing that has been able to keep her going is that she has always shown a lot of faith in her decisions, and when the time comes, she doesn’t flinch. As far as crazy foreshadowing to your imminent death goes, this ranks up there with “carpooling with Nick Nolte and Paula Abdul”.
On Galactica, Adama is having a last minute conference of his own. After a little bit of time staring at the scar from his surgery, he decides to talk to Sharon – alone. Now, I know they wanted to show he still thinks about his scars and everything like that, but couldn’t we just get him replaying the shooting in his mind? Not that Edward James Olmos is in bad shape for a guy his age, but I would rather have my topless crew member memories consist of Sharon and Six, and I am sure the ladies would much rather see the younger Adama and Helo, so this really doesn’t do anybody any good.
Anyway, he asks Sharon why the Cylon hate us so much, like she’s taking the written portion of her SAT exam. It is a tough question, and it takes Valeri a moment to come up with the answer. I am sure we have all thought about the question ourselves, but does it matter? The Cylons aren’t interested in much beyond extermination of all humans. They don’t want land, they don’t want resources, they just can’t stand the way humans live their lives, from the polytheism to the constant fighting. The Cylons haven’t been sending peace envoys; they’ve been sending assault teams. Sharon can’t explain the exact reason why the Cylons hate the humans, but she can give an example. After the first attacks, when Adama was still trying to keep morale high, he gave a speech. In it, he said that “humanity never asked itself why it deserved to survive”, so what happens if they don’t deserve to survive? Hmm, I wonder if Adama is going to take the words from a machine and learn a little bit about humanity? Oh, imagine the irony if it happened only moments later in the episode.
Until all of that happens, we have a nice little battle scene to get us through. I would talk more about the explosions and everything else, and although there were great special effects, it was a little “bleh” to me to be completely honest. I mean, it was a complete slaughter for the Colonial side. I guess they had a good plan and Galactica and Pegasus make a great combination, but it didn’t seem like any of the colonial fighters were shot down, and although the original series had a habit of the pilots always coming back, this was ridiculous. Considering Lee was piloting the Blackbird (he flew in to destroy the engines on the Resurrection ship before it could jump out of the system) and it looked like the only stealth ship in the fleet was the only one damaged in any way, I mean, what were they thinking?
Feel free to disagree with me, but I think the whole Apollo lost in space thing was a very distracting element. The dream sequence was nice, and I thought it did a good job as a metaphor for being out is space. There is nothing there, just a void. You float around, and soon your senses are numb, and the only thing you notice is your breath. Speaking of breath, Apollo’s suit had a hole in it and WAS LEAKING AIR. I wrote that in caps to try and make it sound exciting, but it was actually not that tense. Apollo is rescued by a Raptor that was able to track his signal. They did have to defibrillate him to get him back alive, which counts for something, but again, it left me with not much more than an “eh”, and happiness it was over.
So, with the battle out of the way, next come the assassinations. For some reason, I thought this scene would have been great with a “Flight of the Bumble Bee” montage, but alas, I had to go with the normal Galactica score. BTW, is anybody a little disappointed with the new opening music? I like Ang Lee and all, but he’s not directing Galactica, and the score shouldn’t pretend that he is. Without Apollo, Kara had to do her mission alone, and after she came back from the battle, she went straight to the command center of Pegasus, ready to put a hole in Cain’s head at Adama’s signal. On Galactica, Fisk was waiting to give the signal to his marines to take down Adama as soon as Cain gave him her signal.
Now this is what I’m talking about. I said last week that I didn’t think Starbuck would kill Cain, mainly because I wondered how the hell she was going to get off of Pegasus. She would be as good as dead, and her shot would have to be pretty good. Adama asks to talk to Starbuck, but he doesn’t give his signal. Cain asks to talk to Fisk, and she too passes on giving the kill signal. We aren’t quite sure what stopped either of them, and it’s the first time we have seen Cain show any sort of mercy and it might have been the first time she flinched on one of her decisions. As for Adama, he said that it wasn’t enough to survive; you must be worthy of surviving. You know, it’s too bad Sharon’s people want to kill all of us, because she has been really helpful overall.
Although I wasn’t impressed with the battle overall, that doesn’t mean there weren’t other things going on that I thought were more interesting. We have seen the developing relationship between Gina and Gaius. For a long time, we have thought that he was attracted to her because she was just like Six, but I think it is much more complicated than that. Gina and Six are the same model, but there is obviously something very different about there experiences. First of all, we are not entirely positive that Six exists outside of Baltar’s head. Gina is definitely real, and more than that, I believe the vulnerability she shows displays a side of her that is what we would traditionally call human.
Gaius has been desperately trying to find a way to make a connection with Gina. He did nurse her back to health, and the contrast in his behavior compared to everybody else on the Pegasus is apparent, but he knows that won’t be enough. Last episode, Six told Gaius a story about Caprica. She used to love the professional sports games, and even though she knew Gaius would never join her, she would buy two tickets anyway, just to be able to feel the excitement of the crowd. This came from Six, and since Gina and Six are the same in a basic way, and may even share the same memories, Gaius tells her the same story. As he finishes, there is a realization on Gina’s face. It’s impossible for me to do more than speculate, but it’s as if she realized or remembered that Gaius and some version of her were once in love, and I guess you could say it allowed her to love him.
Through this whole time, Six could not believe what was happening. She shared that moment with Gaius, and cannot believe he is using her words in order to become closer to this broken woman. It’s Six that knows God’s plan for Gaius, and not Gina. Gina even mentioned before that she still wants Gaius to kill her, even though she knows she can’t come back. It looks like Gaius is going to give her that chance. He distracts a guard, and since she has been able to eat, and five of his closest friends aren’t holding her down, he doesn’t stand a chance. Gina kills him (with Jack Bauer effectiveness), takes his gun, and then begs Gaius to kill her because suicide is a sin. Gaius doesn’t want to kill her; he wants to offer her justice. He loves her, and promises to look after her and keep her safe. With that, she takes the gun and walks out of the cell.
I switched timelines, but all of this was happening during the battle, and Gina got the gun after it was all over and the resurrection ship was destroyed. If she is going to get revenge, there is only one place she has to go. Gina finds Admiral Cain alone in her quarters. With a gun in her hand, she holds the power, and she is able to mock Cain about being a dog. True to her style, Cain didn’t flinch, even as she was getting shot in the head.
Obviously, the admiral’s death means a lot of changes. Helo and Tyrol were back on Galactica. I’m not sure if they were reinstated, but at least they don’t have to worry while the guys of Pegasus think of other soap tricks to show them. With Cain dead, Fisk takes over on Pegasus. At her funeral, Starbuck spoke to Cain’s style. She didn’t give up, didn’t second-guess, and didn’t flinch. She did what she thought needed to be done, and Starbuck believes that they were safer with her than without, which is obviously news to Commander Adama.
Speaking of Adama, he got a promotion. No more Commander, he is now an Admiral. He’s so happy that he gives the President a kiss. They’ve always had a love-hate relationship, and as the President got sicker, they seemed to get closer. Maybe since she was going to die in a few days, Adama decided there wasn’t enough time to wait for his face to clear up before making a move. But hey, he didn’t want the President to give up hope, and if he has to sacrifice his body to give her one more day, so be it.
I thought there were a lot of confusing parts of this episode, including the end, and I am not talking about the kiss, which actually was very natural. Gina and presumably Gaius were able to get off the ship somehow, although I am sure that answer will come soon. No, I have to go back to that thing with Lee. As he is talking with Starbuck about what happened, he goes on and on how he wasn’t able to be there for her and everything. When she says that at least he was back alive, he said that was his whole problem; he didn’t want to come back alive. I mean, come on, you’ve lost the will to live Apollo? We know you weren’t happy with your father’s decision to kill Cain, but he didn’t give the signal. Maybe there is at least a glimmer of hope to get by?
As I said before, this was a down episode for me, but hopefully it’s because they were trying to set up the rest of the series. I’ll call it the mid-season lull we never really saw last season, and I’m confident it will get better from here.