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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Fragged"

Adama's recovering from surgery and Roslin's in the brig, so that leaves Tigh and Baltar running the works -- the two people on the entire cast you least want to be in charge of anything.

I think having to bury both lost men put Crashdown over the edge. He was running on automatic from there to the end, and I think he was looking to commit suicide via frontal assault. (Which is part of the definition of "fragged," by the way -- when a CO of a unit is either unpopular or sending the group on suicidally dangerous missions, and is killed by the unit in self-defense.) Chief's slow, sad, mounting collection of dog tags (including Crashdown's) really hurt.

So what's with Six's more demure outfits? What is it a function of? Kobol, where the Cylon god's will can't reach? Baltar's frame of mind, which stopped being impressed by short skirts after losing two pints of blood? Part of her brainwashing technique? She's stepping that up now, focusing on getting him to accept the child she's predicted. She hits him at his lowest, physically and emotionally, and tells him just enough truth in the thicket of lies for it to be believable in his exhausted state. She snarls at him, "Be a man" -- which we interpret to mean "Grow the hell up," but she's just given a speech about how creative murder is the defining hallmark of humanity, of man-kind, and we later realize that she meant "You will need to choose to kill, so be strong enough for it." Baltar calls her on the Cylons' murderous past, and she neatly shifts the blame back to humans, saying "you taught us well." When he despairs over her conflicting messages of his fatherhood and his butchery, Six says that she'll be his conscience, which is about the most extreme case of the fox guarding the henhouse I've ever seen on TV. No wonder his cowardly little brain is scrambled.

More credits weirdness. Tahmoh Penikett (Helo) is listed, but we don't see Caprica at all this week. Not that I'm complaining; I'd rather see two stories done well than three being rushed.

Glad to see Dee is back to normal after her concussion...

I was just delighted to see some of the very issues I've been wondering about here and with other viewers addressed right on screen. Why isn't Billy in the brig? Uh, he wasn't arrested for any crimes. Is Roslin delusional? She claims everything she's done is logical. Was Adama right? Roslin and the Quorum say it's an illegal coup. Where's the press? Held incommunicado by Tigh. I like having dangling threads woven back in!

Tigh continues to be a poor overall leader. He's unable to focus or keep his memory straight under the stress. He lashes out at whatever target comes into his sights, and ignores courtesy and protocol until it suits him to use the rules to his advantage. There's the old saying "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail," and to this military man who has almost nothing else to fall back on, clamping down on everyone with extreme military discipline is the only tool he has to keep control. Not that the constant nipping at his boot flask helps, of course.

Roslin's scream after her nightmare was pretty chilling, not for anything. But I give that guard credit for standing by his post and his orders, no matter where his sympathies lay. He prayed, he helped smuggle drugs, but he did not let her out of her cell without permission. And Billy was exceedingly clever in using the guard's faith as a way to work around the system without actually breaking any rules.

I liked the collar-sashes of the Quorum; they're vaguely evocative of the robes from Classic BSG without being cumbersome, and give a slightly alien but parliamentary feel to the group. Of course Zarek is right in front glowering about coups and martial law, but for once he's on the money. Which Roslin and Adama are both going to be spitting mad about. If Tigh survives this without any suspension or punishment I'll be surprised. (But I will bet that Tigh won't turn on his wife for telling him that Roslin was out of her mind and then seeing that she had it together after all. Lady MacTigh [™ Moulin Rouge, thanks!] really couldn't have known why Roslin was acting oddly or that Billy was fixing the problem. And the opportunistic power-hungry vixen is going to use anything she can to put herself closer to the top, so if Roslin's insanity makes Ellen's husband head of the fleet, well...) I think Roslin realized after the fact, when she came back to lucidity, that she'd just handed this dangerous woman a nasty piece of fodder to work with, so it's possible that she might hold a grudge -- or at least be more wary on next meeting.

So how does Six know about certain things in advance? She could easily have known about Galactica Sharon's mission to assassinate Adama or the plan to have Baltar conceive a sprog with a physical Six if the chip in Baltar's head (assuming there is one) is connected to the Cylon groupmind. But how could she have known that one of the five would "betray" the others? Was she making a vague prediction to put the idea in Baltar's head, so in extremis he would do something which could be interpreted as betrayal or he would see someone else's behavior as betrayal? Was she extrapolating from what she'd seen of the behavior of the other four?

Poor Crashdown; he's so unraveled he has to go back to Robert's Rules of Order to plan their insane assault on the Cylons. It was like a stone-knives-and-bearskins PowerPoint presentation. I was right about Chief and Crashdown having a leadership conflict, but Tyrol does follow military protocol and back his wigged-out lieutenant over the civilian vice president. (It took me until that bit of dialogue to figure out Chief was saying "L-T" meaning "Lt," or "lieutenant," and not calling him a name or nickname.) However, in the last moments where Crashdown has clearly lost it and is threatening to murder Cally, Tyrol pulls a gun on the lieutenant and defends his engineer, rank or no rank.

When Tigh is moodily running his ambrosia bottle over the photos of himself and Adama, I noticed they have eight corners. The dog tags have six. Tigh's speech notes have eight again. I guess it's the Props department doing little things to emphasize the slight apartness which the Colonial culture has from us?

I felt terrible for Cally. She just hit her limit. As tough as she'd been, this isn't anything she was trained for, and she finally had it. She simply couldn't make herself get up and go on this crazy mission. "I enlisted to pay for dental school," she says. Doesn't that put a chill down your spine.

At first I thought Baltar was actually starting to make up for his traitorous deeds, but then I realized that he's firing only because the toasters are firing at him, and it's just convenient that his self-defense is also defending the other three.

Tigh reverses himself and declares martial law because...? He's feeling utterly out of control and knows no other way to handle it? He's angry? He's perpetually drunk? Lady MacTigh pushed him into it? How is Adama going to clean up this mess? And are we going to get a non-continuous story again this season?

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