Well, that was depressing. In fact, at
one point, it got so bad that I was actually thrown
out of the story, thinking, this is why I am a Trekkie.
I watch Trek because no matter how dark it is, ultimately
there is hope. At the end of the day there is something
positive. We are worthy of survival. "Black
Market" was realistic, credible, logical, in character,
and naturalistic. It was also a big downer. This is
supposed to be entertainment. It can be dark, but if
it's unrelentingly so, I won't enjoy watching. The
real world is unhappy enough.
I was also aggravated that I couldn't
understand the kingpin character. He mumbled and slurred
to the point where I rewound some of his dialogue three
and four times and still couldn't hear what he was
saying. That's not acceptable.
The "48 hours earlier" device
is officially overused. You can do that once, maybe
twice in a season -- but not two episodes apart.
Shock value is completely gone.
So we finally get a look at how the civilian
90% of the fleet is living...and it's a horror. Bartering
for antibiotics? Paying for food when there
are less than fifty thousand survivors? Am I stupid
to think that money is somewhat irrelevant right now?
Prostitution doesn't bother me; what two consenting
adults do is their own business. (Child prostitution
is something else, without question.) And if you don't
have money you have to have trade. But it disturbs
me deeply that if there is medicine on the black market,
then someone has control of that medicine and somehow
it's not Galactica or the civilian government.
Why weren't the ships inventoried and critical supplies
secured by now? In the initial rush, okay, but it's
been six months. I sort of understand Roslin's outrage
that not merely petty criminals are doing business
but an entire mafia has its own ship. (The Prometheus --
bringing fire to the masses, which the gods have declared
is only for themselves?)
"People want what they want," says
Jack blithely. People want chocolates. People die without
Jack and Baltar doing bidness over cigars
-- corruption sinks to find its own level, I suppose.
I guess the problem of Jack the Jerk
Leader has been resolved -- and he was proved to be
an even bigger ass than I'd thought. Pegasus has only
been part of the fleet for two or three weeks show
time, and he was already hock-deep in extortion, stealing,
and bribery. Who's next in the chain of command on Pegasus,
Shouldn't Lee be wearing a helmet on
his Raptor trip back to Galactica, or is that
another indication of his lack of self-preservation?
Doctor Quack leans over the corpse with
a lit cigarette in his mouth, and I was waiting for
the ash to fall into Jack's open mouth and ruin the
Once again, the Props department chooses
the ick factor over realism: blood which is several
hours old is dry, brown to black, sticky, and dull.
It's not shiny red like icing or half-solid jello.
Unless Jack bled cherry ganache, the table shouldn't
have looked like that.
Moore has resumed the dual conversations
with Six. I hope he buries the technique again soon.
It's very annoying.
Has Dee been playing the field, or did
she just want to know if she should break things off
with Billy? She's perfectly entitled to spread it around
if she hasn't given Billy any commitment, although
it's courteous to let Billy know that. I think she
did exactly the right, and adult, thing: she looked
Lee right in the eye and asked him where things were
going. She was looking for a yes or no. He couldn't
give her a yes, so she chose to give him a no, and
returned to Billy. See, that's how mature adults handle
relationships, rather than angsty hormonal teenagers.
Wisely, Roslin decides not to tip her
hand yet. She tries for the easy solution, because
there's always time to give your enemy a chance to
surrender peacefully, but now there's a li'l civil
war declared. Has Baltar not figured out that she can
cut him out of practically any loop if she so chooses?
Adama backs her, and her staff is loyal to her,
and his increasing arrogance is not winning him any
friends. When are the next elections? Is Baltar going
to run on his own? Since Jack is gone, is he going
to cultivate Zarek, or is Six going to keep grooming
him for Imperious Leader?
How long does the cast have to rehearse
to teach themselves not to look at Tricia Helfer as
she slinks around? Moore said that the scene in last
week's ep where she grabs Baltar's tie was shot twice,
once with her and once without -- is that standard
Sort of like on ENT where everyone was
called by their first names to the point where I occasionally
forgot what Hoshi's last name was, on BSG2K the characters
are either addressed by their rank or by their first
names -- Lee and Kara -- to the point where when Zarek
comes in the room to talk to Lee, I forgot that the
first time Richard Hatch and Jamie Bamber met up onscreen,
it was a big deal that The Two Apollos were talking.
Craggy, slithery, shifty-eyed, age-broadened Hatch
is every inch Tom Zarek, and who the hell remembers
what Lee's call sign is?
So how truthful was Zarek being? Did
Jack actually try to starve out Astral Queen?
Had Zarek been dealing with the kingpin and just refused
to bend to bully-boy Jack horning in on an established
relationship? He shows up at the end with one of the
kingpin's goons; I don't think he can afford to take
over the mafia. He might well have just been on a standard
run, or trying to re-establish a standard run which
Jack short-circuited. Zarek has great political acumen,
even verging onto statecraft. It's a bleak outlook,
primed to look for oppression and exploitation, and
geared towards adapting to existing circumstances more
than setting a goal to change the situation. I don't
think Zarek aims his future too high. But he is aiming.
He's paying attention. (Unlike Lee, who walks out of
Shivon's room and leaves his bag behind! With
all the evidence he's collected so far! In Zarek's
hands!) Then Zarek unknowingly echoes Roslin's "offering
you a way out," and I spent several minutes trying
to figure out the parallels. A leader offers a troublemaker
the opportunity to walk away quietly, without exhuming
the skeletons in the closet? And both choose to keep
There is some truth to the kingpin's
argument in any economy with currency. There are always
luxuries or rare items people will trade for. There
are also limits, like child prostitution. And in the
fleet's desperate situation, it's truly unfair for
these people to be making that much of a profit when
everything is finite.
As wretched as the scene in the bar was,
it was darkly refreshing for the hero to plug the bad
guy who so richly deserved it. I was surprised, however,
that the goons didn't immediately fill Lee with holes.
I guess they believed his story about Galactica venting
them to space.