Whoa, that was a jaw-dropper.
Nothing which stretched belief, nothing we couldn't
but we -- audience and crew -- have managed to find
a comfort level with the situation over the last season
and a half (which is about three or four months ship
time, I believe). And Cain waltzes right in and turns
everything upside-down, in a way Lloyd Bridges never
could and Rudy
Ransom tried but failed to. ("Pegasus" is
based on a Classic BSG episode, "The
Living Legend," although I don't know how
closely the next episode will follow the Classic BSG's
plot, so if you haven't seen it and would rather not
be spoiled, don't read the summary.)
Can I just say how glad I am that there's no Sheba
character? Moore was bright enough to keep the good
people (Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer, Adama, Tigh) and
ditch the dead weight (Sheba, Boxey, Cassie, the daggit
-- although I wouldn't have minded seeing Athena reimagined,
Strange and surreal background music for the opening
scenes. Was Tangerine Dream in town and needed work?
Upon being introduced to Roslin, Michelle Forbes displays
some surprisingly subtle expressions given all the obvious
plastic surgery she's had since her days as obnoxious"freedom
Ro. (Forbes was offered a role on DS9, but declined,
so Ro became Kira Nerys and Nana Visitor was hired.
To everyone's great relief. Kira was prickly, but Ro
was a bitch.)
Cain instantly got on my bad side, even if I hadn't
already known where this was going, by telling Galactica "welcome back to
the Colonial Fleet." Do the math, dear -- Galactica already is the
fleet, and you're not.
There was a slight hint that perhaps
Cain was not as honest as she could have been in
her report on what
happened during the attack. She says they took a blind
jump to anywhere because they were "completely
defenseless." Tigh and Adama idly wish they could
see her logs. One wonders if she really had
no choice, as Roslin convinced Adama, or if she ran.
Look at her crew: happy to be bullies, glorifying savagery,
rationalizing dictatorship as discipline and mindless
obedience as morale-boosting. Did they only get that
way in a few months? Or was she already leading a bunch
of barely-restrained barbarians who were looking for
an excuse to go hunting? How could they have been defenseless
three months ago but fully-armed and operational now?
One piece of very important information: there's a
Cylon fleet tracking Galactica. Is it the same
group which was taken out at the end of "Final
Cut," or were they a strike force? The mysterious
large ship most likely wasn't destroyed in that attack,
and if it's a Raider factory (hatchery?) then more
ships can come. Are they following Pregnant Sharon?
Are they testing the human fleet like a large-scale
Skinner box experiment? (Because not for anything,
there have been more than enough opportunities to take
out all or part of the fleet. If Gaeta is a Cylon,
or even before Boomer tried to assassinate Adama, there
have been so many openings to destroy the battlestar
that you have to start to wonder if annihilation is
still their objective.)
I thought it was hilarious that Cain
called Roslin on her faintly horrified expressions.
Roslin must be
thinking that she spent all this precious time and
effort forging a peace and an alliance with Adama,
and now she has to start over with Cain -- and
she simply doesn't have the energy for it. Moogie noted
that McDonnell is doing a great job portraying Roslin
as slowly weakening, slumping in on herself, dying
by inches, although he thought that making her hollow-cheeked
would add more to the effect.
Did Cain shoot her XO or not?
In Adama's shoes, I would not have
told her "Don't
give it [taking command of the fleet from him] a moment's
thought." It's not his responsibility to assuage
her feelings, and frankly, since he has been
the (successful) leader of the fleet for several months,
she should be concerned about disrupting an
existing stable situation. In the moments afterward,
when he's standing alone, he frowns and looks worried.
I think that whether he meant his comment to her or
whether it was a polite screen, he's realizing just
what he's given her -- he surrendered dominance without
a fight. She takes advantage of it and runs right over
him the first time she decides she wants to change
We still don't know how analogous the
Colonial government is to America's, so we don't know
if Roslin has the power to make Adama an Admiral (and
doesn't know it). In the U.S., the civilian commander-in-chief
can appoint and dismiss high-level military leaders.
But in the Colonies, it seems the civilian government
and the military are equally powerful, and neither controls
wombat61 brought up some good points to
me: Cain, perhaps thinking her battlestar was the last
remnants of the race, is on a mission of revenge. It's
hard to imagine she thinks she can win, against
such odds. Now that she's discovered there are around
fifty thousand survivors, doesn't that change the tactics?
Doesn't that make revenge less important than survival?
I could see if she's only got the few hundred people,
she might say fine, we'll take out as many toasters
as we can on the way to extinction. But that's not the
case any more. Why the continued dogged attack? And
are the battlestars going to leave the fleet defenseless
while they go chase the mystery ship? (That was addressed
in the Classic BSG episode.)
In that same vein, Adama would rather
save talented troublemakers (Tigh, Chief, Starbuck)
than remove anyone from the team, or the gene
pool. Cain isn't thinking of the future any more, or
she'd at least blink about executing two young healthy
skilled sperm donors.
I have to believe that Baltar's Six really
didn't know who was in that cell. (The Cylon prisoner's
is Gina, according to the official site. Moore added
it as an in-joke: Classic BSG fans who dislike BSG2K
have been calling it GINO, Galactica In Name Only,
so he decided to have fun with it.) She seemed far
too shocked and upset to be faking it.
had known, she would have dropped more hints. I guess
that also means that Gina is not connected to the
groupmind, or they would have known what happened to
When Baltar and Six walk up to
the cell, Moogie noted that they move almost in perfect
they of "one mind" (that is, are they having
identical reactions) at that moment, or is that another
tick in the "he's hallucinating her" column?
To Baltar's credit, since I don't
think Six can control him to that degree, he looks
revolted and deeply disturbed
by the condition Gina is in. He's one of very few humans
who has the capacity to see a humanoid Cylon as a potential
equal, and he's as disgusted as if she were human.
Six understandably freaks out, calling her an "abused
woman," but even Galactica's crew wouldn't
necessarily see her that way. (However, not even Tigh
was planning on doing to Sharon what was done to Gina.)
Six says of Gina "It's me," but then "look
what they've done to her." For a moment
I thought she might have meant that she was a projection
from that unit -- a possibility I hadn't considered
before -- but then her second comment clarified that
she meant it the same way the Sharon in the theatre
on Caprica did when she said "I'm alive, she made
it." The identity of the units blurs very easily.
Doesn't Baltar think someone might be monitoring his
actions in the cell remotely? Watching him talk to
thin air? Listening to him say kind things to the Cylon?
(He handled Cain very well, however -- phrased his
report in just the right way for her to hear it the
way she wanted and give him what he needed.) Is he
going to end up on Pegasus for any length of
time, or escape with Gina to Galactica?
While on paper Cain may be right about the various
pilots' infractions, they have all been under enormous
strain the last few months, and her own ship isn't
a model of decorous behavior either. I'm not military
-- does it make more sense to observe an existing situation
before barging in with tactical changes, or does a
new CO always sweep house upon assuming command? But
you know when you have a scene where the person who's
accustomed to arguing with the commanding officer is
told to shut up and obey orders from someone higher
up the food chain that the arguer is going to be right,
Cain and Adama both have the loyalty
of their crews, it seems, and each got the crew which
fits their command
style best: Adama has the conflicted moralists and
Cain has the mad-dog martinets. Is any of her command
style justified? Is there a place for the strict reliance
on protocol at the end of civilization? Or is it more
of the clinging to obsolete rituals which Zarek decried
in wanting to change the Colonial government? Even
Adama plays by the rules and regs, mostly. He's been
more flexible because his command style is more personal.
Cain has the fanatics who demand order above
all else, who can't bear chaos or independent thinking
because it would shatter their rigid views of the way
the universe is constructed. Pegasus's CAG boots
Kara from the mission because she challenged his tactics.
Almost any other Galactica officer would have
listened to an objection from any Galactica pilot,
because they have learned to depend on one another
as a team. Pegasus's crew has learned to rely
solely on the chain of command and the people at the
top. I don't mean to say that there shouldn't be military
protocol; since it is a military ship, without control
there's total anarchy. But Adama isn't afraid of being
challenged, or of having
his orders questioned (within reason). He isn't afraid
to examine his own thinking. He can change his mind.
He can admit a mistake. And that makes him a better
leader than Cain.
Hearing the Pegasus crew
joke about gang-raping Gina completely turned my
stomach (which it was supposed
to do). Moogie and I both spontaneously yelled in unison "oh
my GOD!" when we realized what Thorne was about
to do to Sharon. It was many times more powerful than
Kara violently dunking Leoben, which, let's be honest,
isn't too far from the same thing.
And that parallel made me think. Moore isn't afraid
of setting up these very hard questions. We have Kara
torturing Leoben, Kara and the other survivors at the
Cylon Farm, Gina's gang-rape by the Pegasus crew,
and Sharon's almost-rape by Thorne. The first two are
clear-cut Us vs. Them: Kara is one of Us, Leoben is
a Cylon who said he planted a bomb, the Simons and
Sixes were Cylons who were kidnapping and violating
human women to force them to reproduce with the Cylons.
Hurting the bad guys (Them) is acceptable. Hurting
the good guys (Us) is not.
But then you get the assaults on Gina and Pregnant
Sharon. Sharon started as one of Them, but now is arguably
trying to become one of Us. Thorne may be of the same
species as Us, but he's not behaving like one of Us
would, so that makes him a different kind of Them.
The Pegasus crew is supposed to be more like
Us, perhaps warped under pressure in a different direction
than the Galactica crew did, so we're not sure
if those crewmembers are supposed to be misled Us or
vicious Them. And we don't know what Gina might have
done, so we don't know if she's one of Them (genocidal
toaster) or trying to ally with Us (toaster with an
obsession with love). When is violence right? When
is it okay? Is it okay to rape Hitler as revenge or
punishment for ordering the deaths of 11 million people?
Is it okay to come close to drowning a lower-level
SS officer? As a species, I still think (so far) that
the Cylons are genocidal toasters. But it's hard to
say that it's okay for Kara to beat Leoben bloody to
find the bomb he might have planted, but not okay to
gang-rape Gina when she might (we don't know) have
done something equivalent. We need to face that
kind of quandary. I hope the characters face it and
wrestle with it also.
Chief and Helo acted like many dysfunctional families
do: together, they fought, but when faced with an outsider,
they closed ranks and backed one another up. And they
both loved a Sharon, and both immediately leapt to
Huge huge marks to Tricia Helfer.
She's been repeatedly remarkable as the Sixes, but
there's a whole new range
opening up for her as Gina. Moogie noted with some
amusement that as she reached for the plate, "it
almost looks like a robot hand." This iteration
of Six, the proudest, smuggest, most superior of the
models, has been reduced literally to machine-like
gestures, as if her human mimicry has been beaten out
of her. It's also a fair portrayal of how a beaten
human woman might move. Baltar weeps to watch it. Is
he going to defect to the Cylons after watching how
the humans treated her?
Adama moved really fast in what is essentially
another coup attempt to rescue Chief and Helo, but
Cain is stirring things up so hard so quickly that
he didn't have much choice. She lost his cooperation
when she coolly ignored his objections to the crew
transfer, and she lost Galactica when she ordered
the execution of the two men. The fleet I don't know
-- it depends on how they'd feel about the Cylon prisoner,
and her treatment.
And we have to wait for January! agh!