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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Scattered"

Which never actually describes anyone's wits during the dense but diverse second-season opener. All the plot arcs move forward to greater or lesser degree, and we even manage to wedge in some background information and a little character development.

We start with a new opening sequence and opening credits, and I think slightly new background music. Now the text is focused equally on Cylons' plan and the humans' search -- I'll have to pull out my DVDs to check, but I think the galaxy in the first few seconds looks like footage from Classic BSG's opening.

Six tells Baltar that the baby in the cradle is his and hers, not Caprica Sharon and Helo's as I'd assumed. Baltar finds this as hard to digest as the audience does. We know that there are physical iterations of Six, so it's not inconceivable (heh) that she could have his child, but that either has to happen on Kobol or a Six (whom the Galactica staff saw already saw as "Shelley Godfrey") has to get onto the battlestar. If they Cylons are patrolling Kobol, the downed away team will be there for a while, so there's more than enough time for Six to spirit Baltar off for a tumble in the hay. (Which reminds me: what does Baltar call Six? Clearly he's never addressed her as Six. Did he address her as anything in the mini? I can't remember.) Also, Six says in KLG that Baltar is the "guardian and protector of the new generation of God's children" (and apparently also the father). It's quite interesting that "Gaius" is the male form of "Gaia," the Greek über-mother of all creation with Ouranous (Uranus) before Rhea and Cronos begat Zeus (Jupiter) and his siblings. Wonder how far back that was planned.

Tigh has flashbacks throughout the episode, which seem to add up to the sequence that Tigh and Adama met and became friends on a freighter, Adama was clearly on the way up, Tigh was canned from the fleet (drinking? mistake? incompetence?), I think Adama was too, and Adama got back in and pulled some strings to get Tigh reinstated. Tigh owes him life, career, self-esteem, nearly everything. Adama's injury is a deeply personal insult. He's too much in spiritual debt to Adama to let him die. (Here's a question: in the flashbacks, he kept seeing a door with "3" on it opening. But that door was his, and the viewpoint was that of the soldiers coming to give him the good news that he was reinstated. Why would he keep seeing a vision from someone else's perspective? Separately, when he's changing uniforms, there's a picture or something on the wall of a shuttle/ship outline...with a big 3 over it. Coincidence or connection to be explained later?)

Tigh also reveals that while he's a decent XO, he is entirely uncomfortable in the metaphorical Big Chair. He doesn't want the credit to stop with him. He doesn't want the immense responsibility, he doesn't want to have to come up with the ideas and do the thinking and the plotting. He can carry out and enforce Adama's orders, but that's where he wants it to stop. He panics for a moment over every decision. As it happened, things went well this time, but we'd have to see it two or three more times before I could judge whether Tigh actually is a good officer who has no self-esteem, or if he's just one of those people who really isn't cut out to be on top of a command chain.

Galactica Sharon "comes to" without realizing at first what's happened. When it hits her, she howls and protests the entire way out of the command center. In the brig, though, it looks like she's come to brutal terms with what she is, at least in the short term. Was it her human self or her Cylon core which growled to Tigh to shoot her already?

Bearing 487 mark 015? They must not be using a 360-degree measurement system.

Correction: I thought Billy was actually in the brig, but it appears he's hanging out in Just Visiting because he doesn't have a ride back to Colonial One. It seemed sort of strange that her assistant was imprisoned but not the rest of her staff.

The flickering of expressions across Tricia Helfer's face as Six prods and leads and manipulates Baltar is really impressive. She's practically vibrating between pleasure and angry sadness, waiting to see what he'll do and working out her next moves to counter him.

Cally is one tough cookie. She's out of her element, she's overwhelmed, she's terrified, her superior officers are going to pieces on her, and she cries and grits her teeth and gets the job done.

Doesn't the forest on Kobol look familiar? It's the same forest which we saw frequently on The X-Files. Apparently that particular chunk of Vancouver is very photogenic.

As in KLG1, we're starting to see some too-obvious cause-effect loops. Chief Tyrol makes a big stink about double-checking their gear, Crashdown says they don't have time, and it turns out they're missing a critical medkit and have to return for it. C'mon, I saw that one coming over the hill a mile off.

Compare Crashdown's command style to Tigh's. It takes Crashdown a few minutes to pull himself together in KLG, but when he does, he's confident to the point of arrogance...and makes mistakes. Tigh can react immediately, but when he has to think about his actions, he pauses and dithers, and ultimately gambles. If he had made a mistake, it would have been on the calculated advice of others, not born of the military-issue desperation to keep moving at all costs. Crashdown, as a new soldier, was probably taught a certain expediency, while Tigh was trained as an officer who is supposed to see the larger tactical view.

I liked how Ellen was helping Tigh change his uniform and going ew silently as he kept handing her things with blood all over them -- ick, my hands, what am I supposed to do with this thing, did I get blood on my elbow?

Tyrol is a really sweet and big-hearted guy. I can understand why Galactica Sharon fell for him. He cares a lot about his people, whoever "his people" are at any given moment. He fusses over the injured. He's willing to risk his life to return for the medkit as well as to watch the redshirt's back. "Expediency" isn't in his vocabulary. I bet he and Trip would have been good buddies. However, I'm thinking this is the beginning of a problem between him and Crashdown. This is twice now that Tyrol has had a better grasp of what the group should be doing or than the ranking officer. Is there a leadership battle in the offing?

Either Helo wasn't really as angry as he appeared to be, or he took a worse blow to the head than we suspected, because he's back to protecting Caprica Sharon as though she weren't a Cylon. I'm with Kara on this one -- Sharon is a machine, she's a toaster with a face, and should be removed for tactical and defensive reasons. If she actually is carrying Helo's child, that should have made him even angrier -- she is an abomination; the Cylons aren't satisfied with destroying the humans, now they want to breed out the last of the survivors? Are Cylon men going to start sowing wild oats among unsuspecting human women now? (and that's a real problem. The humans need to breed early and often, so they'll be more willing to be pregnant.) I'm not entirely sure it was Caprica Sharon who stole the Raider, but if she did, and it was a betrayal and not one of these involuted rescues, that should finally convince Helo. (What's Tahmoh Penikett's accent, Canadian? It's officially grating to my ears.)

Oops! Set blooper! When Kara goes into the museum in KLG2, you can see the canopy over the entrance reads "Delphi Museum of the Colonies." In "Scattered," when she and Helo run back outside -- the same exit, because that's where the Raider was parked -- it's broken, and reads "--seum of the Colonies."

If Adama's blood pressure is "way down," what's the 128 on the monitor mean?

I hope that Tigh, or someone, will come back and finish interrogating Galactica Sharon soon. Seems rather dumb to leave her alive but not question the hell out of her. They assume she's an agent and has secrets to tell. (Of course, they have no way of realizing that she probably knows a bit less than they do.)

So who was firing at Tyrol and Cally and Redshirt in the woods? They didn't seem to be close enough to be near the away team, and the team wouldn't start shooting unless they were being fired on anyway. The shots were too good and too close to be strays from a firefight with the Cylons. Did the Cylons steal leftover weapons from the Raptor, or have other human weapons, and use them to cause confusion? (That was a very disturbing scene. I had to turn away more than once.)

The blood on Lee's hands would not have stayed that red and glistening for several hours. Blood oxidizes -- the iron in it actually rusts. Old dried blood is brown, and would be flaking and smearing. Lee's arms and hands were covered in red glaze icing.

I was having flashbacks to Classic BSG's "Fire in Space" during that Sickbay scene where the medic yells for something and the nurse tells her they only have the battery-operated ones...

So the guard believes Roslin is a prophet, but Lee got himself into prison defending said prophet and the guard said he wasn't authorized to take off Lee's cuffs. You wouldn't see that on Star Trek.

I forgot that the Cylons had used a virus in the mini to cripple the humans' networks. Must go back and rewatch one of these days. I love how Gaeta unhooks the networks: he yanks the wires right out of the wall! (Jerky second officer never did apologize...)

Don't the Colonial IFF symbols on the display look like the critters from "Space Invaders"?

The red-eye Cylon soldiers return! Let's see if their aim is better in this series.

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