One of the biggest thrill rides
I've been on in a long time -- probably since ENT's "Twilight." Careening
from one peak of tension to the next, gasping for breath,
trying to figure out what would happen next and never getting
it right and yet each event was completely believable
as it unfolded. And then there were 10 minutes left
yet to go!
Please pardon the great number of semi-rhetorical
questions in this one; not everything was neatly tied
up at the end.
Usually when an episode starts
with something out of left field. and cuts to "X
amount of time earlier," you
expect that whatever was in the teaser will be fairly
close to the end and the climax of a large plotline; firefly's "Out
of Gas" is the most recent example which leaps
to mind. To have it extracted from the middle of the
episode and as one secondary plot among many
was a surprising choice. I guess it's a launch for
a character arc for Lee? I'm a bit confused because
Lee's suicidal surrender took me aback -- I would have
expected a few more signs, a little more buildup than
just his shocked conversation with Adama about the
assassination order and his dumbfounded stuttering
that Roslin was in on it. "I didn't want to come
back alive"? Where did that come from?
He says to Kara in the next scene (although it's not
chronologically next) that only trust sets humans apart
from/above the Cylons. Does he feel that his father
and Roslin somehow betrayed that trust by giving assassination
orders? He murmurs an apology to Kara while floating
in space, as though he has betrayed her trust.
Is he referring to not being there to back her up,
or to taking his hand off the hole in his suit and
choosing to die? I guess it makes for good drama that
the (former) CAG and the Commander's (now the Admiral's)
son is simply not tough enough for the military, or
at least for the military situation in which they're
currently in, but I'm not necessarily happy about it.
He is Apollo, after all; he's one of the stars
of the show and one of its heroes. Flaws are fine.
I don't want him to give up.
Chief is going to be so pissed that the Blackbird
was trashed. On the other hand, it gives everyone an
excuse to build another one, with shinier parts from Pegasus.
Chief made the mistake of forgetting that the Pegasus crew
isn't like Galactica's -- they bring guns to
back up their bullying. It's not an honest fistfight,
it's sanctioned torture -- putting a "please disturb" sign
on the cell of other Colonial crewmembers. Jack at
least draws the line between torturing the enemy and
torturing Colonials, but the question really is why
is torture allowed at all? We come back to this over
and over. Is it okay to torture an enemy combatant
to get information? Is it okay to torture someone who,
if freed, will systematically murder her way from stem
to stern across the ship?
After Cain's long "don't flinch" speech,
I was really expecting it to be a bookend to the assassination,
with one or the other noting that Kara didn't flinch
in shooting her. Is this the source of Kara's later
eulogy? Cain is a tough woman who embraces a certain
amount of wildness and lawlessness; does Kara see what
she might become, and like it?
We like Sharon. We want to like Sharon. She's
cute and sympathetic and pregnant and plays helpless
and was legitimately assaulted. Then she says in that
sweet little voice that maybe humans as a species don't deserve
to survive, because we're "a flawed creation" and
murderous and petty, and we remember what she is: a
member of a species who wants to annihilate us. (and beautiful sound
editing to drop the FX of a gun battery in the wake
of that statement!)
So two battlestars with Vipers can take out two Cylon
base stars and a sack of Raiders. Granted that humanity
is low on numbers, but doesn't that bode well for future
encounters? Or did they use up more ammo than they
The battle itself was marvelously framed and shot
and rendered. The Vipers sailing sideways as they blasted
the Resurrection Ship, the grim rain of Cylon bodies
shooting into space, the two basestars being pounded
by Galactica and Pegasus, Lee watching
the distant battle in a daze -- and it wasn't even
the focus of the episode, it was merely a plot point.
(Which is why I kept thinking that the "resurrection" was
something to do with Pegasus, not a Cylon vessel.)
The next twenty minutes, cutting among Jack and his
Marines, Adama and Tigh, Kara, and Cain, were some
of the tensest and most powerful TV I think I've ever
seen. The anticipation of horror, of how it could go
any possible way, the potential for death and betrayal
and discovery, whose pawns are in place, will Kara
get there in time, will Jack break, will Cain flinch,
the staggering relief of nothing happening --
and then Gina starting it all up again -- I felt like
I needed a shower after all that!
Lee is ejected into space and starts
his mental lake float (in the crucifixion position)
about the same
time we return to Gina and Baltar. She wants to die
to be free of the pain the humans have visited on her.
When Baltar gives her an opening, she says "suicide
is a sin" and begs to die, but then Baltar gives
her a chance to escape Pegasus altogether and
she chooses life and goes off for revenge, or justice.
Lee wants to die -- I'm still trying to figure it out,
but I guess to be free of the pain of being betrayed
by Roslin and Adama? -- and eventually takes his hand
off the punctures in his suit and allows his oxygen
to leak out entirely, choosing to die. When he's zapped
back (resurrected -- meaningful?), he later expresses
regret. Even though the assassination didn't happen,
he's still devastated, while Gina gets off a quip to
Cain before killing her. An interesting counter-melody.
What did Six think Baltar was going to do about the
destruction of the Resurrection Ship? She didn't try
to stop Gina from telling him or him from telling Cain
and Adama what it was or its tactical potential. Did
she expect him to fling himself onto the Bridge and
order them to abort the attack?
Why did Baltar use Six's words on Gina? Is there any
echo between the two Cylon women, in that those sentiments
are common to that personality, so Gina (at least partly
disconnected from the groupmind, or maybe it's that
Six isn't connected) would be pleased to hear those
phrases because they were originated from another unit
of her model? (Moogie had a moment of freakout when
he thought that Baltar had actually been the
one to go to the Triad games, and that we were going
to learn that Six has been an alternate personality
of his all this time. But I don't think so.) Is Gina,
rather than the incorporeal Six, going to be the "mother" of
the cybrid baby? What happens to Pregnant Sharon and
Helo? Is Baltar using Gina to get back at Six, to prove
he's not her lapdog? (Notice she goes from "Are
you going to help this abused woman, Gaius?" to "You
think that broken woman can offer you even a fraction
of what I can?") Does he feel something for Gina
as an individual, or is it transference? Does he see
her as a reincarnation (a resurrection?) of the physical
woman who died on Caprica? He can touch Six, after
a fashion, so I can't imagine that's driving it. Maybe
her religion -- "God forgives all," rather
than Six's ranting "God will not forgive this
sin" of killing tens of thousands of Cylons on
the Resurrection Ship -- is less fundamentalist? Could
he possibly care about that? His eyes were brimming
with tears as he recited Six's reflections to Gina.
Was he mourning Six? Feeling for Gina? Trying to redeem
himself and make up for his offenses by offering her
a reason to live?
So why did Cain pull back? Adama listened to
the various voices of his conscience (Lee and Sharon,
in this instance) and concluded mere survival was insufficient.
What changed the Admiral's mind? Did each leader sense
the plan of the other, and when Kara handed the phone
back to Cain without incident, Cain decided not to
take the plunge after all?
ooh! I didn't see that the first time! Cain flinched just
before Gina fired!
I was sort of surprised that they left Jack in charge
of Pegasus. That means the SOB officers and
crew still have one of their SOB leaders in command,
and the structure which condoned rape and torture is
still partly in place. Gina is still out there -- I
don't think Adama is going to look very hard for her
unless she makes trouble -- and if she's found by the Pegasus crew
first, it'll get ugly again.
Adama smooches Roslin?! On second viewing I
think it's mostly kindness and affection, not attraction.
And Admiral Adama? Lorne Greene is smiling somewhere...
Can I just comment on how fantastic the background
music is for the show? Eerie, adrenalized, haunting,
tense, mournful all in turns.