Okay, Apollo went from Captain (which
is what the audience thought he was) to Major to Commander (which
is two ranks, going right over Colonel) in the space
of one episode. I know Richard Hatch has his own BSG2K
character now, but I bet that for about 90 seconds,
he was pissed.
So why was it called "The Captain's
Hand"? On Trek we're accustomed to thinking of
The Captain as the person who runs the ship, but on
BSG there's one Commander and one Admiral. Lee was
a Major for most of the ep. Kara is the only Captain
being discussed. Did it mean her hand moving things
behind the scenes? A hand of cards? That seems too
subtle for her. Was it in fact a reference to Lee,
even though that's no longer his rank? Seems sort of
yay Connor promo! :D
Wow, Lee and Dee are truly boring together.
No chemistry at all, even less than Lee and Kara. But
it's not revolting, just boring, so I don't care. (Maybe
the problem is that what Lee really needs is a boyfriend?)
They're both great actors, and I like both characters,
and they're actually fun as friends, but there are
no romantic sparks at all.
The Beast and The Bucket -- that's amusing.
Realistic too, considering the reputation of the ships
and their COs. But why would Adama assign a "temporary" XO?
That's what Lee was serving as, which I didn't realize
until I read the official site synopsis since Garner
was so prickly. Unless Garner's command itself was
still on probation? Wouldn't you want to establish
a stable command team? Did Adama promote Lee just for
the position? (Ooh, I bet that comes back to bite him
on the ass: he doesn't feel he deserves the two promotions
in quick succession, that he hasn't earned the right
or the experience to be there. If Pegasus gets
FOOMed, five will get you ten that'll be the emotional
See, I was right about the attitude of
the Pegasus officers. They took their cues from
Cain. She surrounded herself with like-minded people.
Garner thinks it's okay to disobey orders -- although
let's face it, so does practically everybody; it's
a wonder anything gets done -- and keep Galactica personnel
out of decision-making loops because they're not Our
People, rather than thinking of the Fleet as one group.
How long can that keep up before the dramatic tension
gets to be too much, the way it did with Cain? The
character had to be removed for the show to advance.
Will Pegasus have to be FOOMed as well? The
situation was really getting out of control, in terms
of character conflict. Now that Lee is in command,
maybe it won't have to be sacrificed.
On the one hand, because we the audience
have figured the Raptors were caught in a trap, we
frown on Garner disobeying orders and defying Adama
and Lee and Kara to rescue his pilots. On the other
hand, if the situation were reversed, we'd be cursing
the other admiral for being so conservative and for
letting the pilots die out there. Tip of the hat to
Garner's flaw is that he expects everything
to work like clockwork. But he should know better --
Chief Engineers have to be flexible and inventive,
not rigid and protocol-obsessed. Scotty is a miracle
worker, not an accountant. Sure, you have to follow
safety procedures and physics has unbreakable laws,
but bypassing EPS conduits is a daily occurrence, not
a rare glitch. (and may I just add, our Chief
Engineer didn't have these problems commanding a ship
in trouble. Or under enemy
fire. Several times.)
I wonder how dangerous Baltar would be
on his own, without Six and Zarek (and Gina) whispering
in his ears. He likes power, but he doesn't like having
to work for it. He's a coward. He plays hard-to-get
with Zarek, letting himself be seduced for an exchange
of political favors, because he wouldn't have the guts
or the desire to go it alone. Then when the moment
is right (and I gotta admit, that was beautifully orchestrated,
the bastard) he leaps on the wave of popular sentiment
and rides it, with Six cheering him on. Would he bother
with any of this without his Axis friends? Would he
Okay, let's take a little while to detour
and talk about criminalizing abortion absolutely and
prioritizing reproduction (which are related but not
the same thing). I
understand the dilemma of continuing the species,
but removing the fundamental right of a woman to control
her own body is wrong. Roslin has gone an
enormous step backwards, toward the way of the Cylons,
women as no better than breeding cows. Sandy, one
of the loyal TripHammered Half-Dozen, sent me a long
and eloquent dissection of the issue, which I'm going
use and expand upon here with her permission. (Credit
80% of this to her.) I should say that many of these
issues would have to be dealt with anyway even if
abortion were still legal, so these are not necessarily
direct result of this decision, but it escalates
the timing of when they would happen.
So, according to this new executive order,
which neatly bypasses the elected representatives of
the Quorum who represent the will of the entire Fleet,
not just the fundamentalists, every pregnancy, wanted
or unwanted, must be nurtured and come to fruition,
so to speak.
How will this law be enforced? If a woman
is rumored to be pregnant, she has to undergo a forcible
exam? Every woman must submit to a government-administered
pregnancy test every month, or show the red flag to
prove that it's not needed?
In the real world, somewhere between 20%
and 30% of pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage
in the first four months. These are women who have
done everything right, and lose the baby anyway.
Would Roslin punish them regardless? How do you prove
it's a natural and not assisted miscarriage? Will
she prosecute women who fall down stairs?
Is she planning on outlawing any form
of birth control? Do parents no longer have the choice
of how they want to space their children for best development?
Do parents no longer have a choice of how many children
they want? If birth control is still permitted, like
everything else there's a finite amount. Will resources
be allocated to producing more pills or condoms or
diaphragms or spermicides?
If a woman is raped, is she still required
to bear her rapist's child? If a woman is too old or
her own health is too precarious to continue the pregnancy,
is she still required to risk her life to have the
baby? What if she's 14? What happens when women die
in childbirth? What happens when she leaves behind
four children? Who's going to take care of them?
If a fetus is shown to have
genetic abnormalities, or terrible defects -- especially
be a drain on the Fleet's already limited resources
-- is she still required to have the child? Is Roslin
going to call for genetic testing of every person in
the Fleet, to see if there are any genetic diseases
lingering, to keep them from being passed down to the
limited breeding stock? Or is it okay to allow sickle-cell
anemia and Tay-Sachs and hemophilia and the breast
cancer gene to continue?
What about the reverse? Will people of "good stock" be
encouraged to bear or sire as many babies as possible?
Would Lee be told to "spread his seed" around
many women to ensure his DNA gets mixed into the gene
pool as much as possible? On the third side, there
is a limited and finite gene pool. Don't they need
to be careful about inbreeding?
What happens when the first coat-hanger
deaths start being reported? Because you know there
will be women who will want to end their pregnancies
at any cost. Roslin was upset about the black market
for goods? She's just created one for abortion. If
there's mandatory testing, there might also be a black
market for "clean" urine or blood.
Will women of breeding age now be banned
from dangerous jobs? Say, like Viper pilot? Even
though there are barely enough pilots and trained competent
military personnel as it is? Would they have to take
an oath of celibacy? Will there be one set
of rules for civilian women and another set for military
women? Will Cottle be sneaking his people in the
back door? If military women are not exempt and they
have to breed, will the rules about fraternization
between ranks be suspended? Recall that Tigh ordered
Tyrol to break it off with Galactica Sharon
because she was an officer and he was non-commissioned.
What about pregnancy versus marriage?
Lee and Dee are an item for the moment, but he's now
Commander of Pegasus. If Dee is pregnant, will
he be ordered to marry her so "it looks good"?
If reproduction is the most important thing, what about
the fundamentalists? Rya, the Geminese girl who wanted
the abortion which kicked off the plot, was likely
freaking out because she didn't want to marry her boyfriend.
Will the religious nuts be ordered to give out-of-wedlock
pregnancies an indulgence? Or is Roslin going to insist
on shotgun marriages to go with the forced breeding?
Pair this with the eugenics problems above: Will monogamy
be officially out of favor, because it prevents the
best genes from being shared?
Are Roslin and the Geminese representative
going to lead by example and carry babies for the good
of the species?
Then you have the course of the pregnancy
itself. Expectant moms need extra food. Food is apparently
rationed. Out of whose mouth will food literally be
taken to feed pregnant women? Are they going to sell "baby
bonds" and have "pregnancy gardens" to
raise "ration cards" for breeders? These
women need medical attention. If Cottle is one of the
doctors in the Fleet of fifty thousand people,
who is going to monitor all these pregnancies? Who
is going to deliver high-risk babies? Where are moms
ordered on bed rest going to stay? Where are they going
to find medications to treat these women? If midwives
wind up stepping in where there are no doctors or nurses,
and something goes wrong, are the midwives going to
be jailed for infanticide?
Would a woman be arrested for not eating
properly or taking her prenatal vitamins? Would there
be Mommy Monitors on every ship to keep an eye on pregnant
women to make sure they're not doing something which
might endanger the child, like stand too close to a
microwave emitter or use Retin-A for their skin? How
about arresting a pregnant woman who drinks or smokes?
Would smoking be outlawed so that no pregnant woman
or baby is exposed to the smoke? Let's
say Cottle comes up with something to help women
through morning sickness, and it turns out to be thalidomide.
Would he be prosecuted? Would he get an exemption
being one of the few doctors?
Will every person in the Fleet have to
have their DNA registered so fathers can be tracked?
Will fathers be required to support any baby they sire?
Will it now become a point of pride for swaggering
young studs to have a bunch of "baby mommas" scattered
around several ships? Remember the Pegasus crew
who were boasting about how many times they'd raped
Speaking of Gina, what about potential
Cylon agents? We know, obviously, that Cylon
women can carry human babies. Until the other six
models are identified, how does Roslin know the sperm
donors of the Fleet wouldn't be helping
the enemy along by interbreeding with them? Why hasn't
Six's/Gina's photo been publicized? Reverse it: what
if Cylon men can impregnate human women,
and succeed where the Farms failed?
Imagine how much "damage" one Cylon
Lothario could do with this kind of carte blanche
permission to breed.
Let's look at a few specific scenarios,
shall we? Shivon is the prostitute whom Lee visited.
pregnant by one of her johns, she can't work. Her pimp
offers to support her while she's not working. But
in exchange, she has to let him adopt the kid when
he turns five, so the child can be sold to a pedophile.
Or invert it: if a prostitute is pregnant, she can't
get pregnant again, so only pregnant prostitutes are
now in favor, so these women try to stay pregnant all
the time, and again sell off the kids to the pimps.
We've already seen what the Pegasus crew
can be capable of. Let's say the Adamas make Starbuck
the CAG of Pegasus again, and the hotshot pilots
don't like it -- they don't like her, or they want
one of their own in charge. So they track her down,
beat the crap out of her, and gang-rape her. Now she's
pregnant. And as a pregnant woman, she can no longer
fly a Viper, so she's out of a job -- and as a bonus,
she's forced to carry and bear the offspring of the
bastard who did this to her.
Will there be a surge in "heteroflexible" behavior,
with otherwise straight folk seeking out homosexual
encounters to avoid pregnancy?
What about infertile women? Men? Are
they going to be shunned as pariahs for not contributing?
What about fertile women who have no male partners?
What about gay women? Are they going to be forced into
surrogacy to keep the population up? Will gay men be
forced to make donations? What about straight married
folks who just don't want kids? Is that no longer legal?
Since not every woman has a partner,
and even if she does it won't allow for maximum gene
mixing (which is the best way to keep the gene pool
healthy), are they going to start taking sperm and
ova from everyone, mixing them in vitro, and injecting
them into random surrogates?
And the bundles of joy arrive. Where
are they going to live? Space on the various ships
is also limited and finite (except for Cloud 9,
which seems to have some kind of special entertainment
dispensation). Are burgeoning families going to have
the right to kick someone else out of the quarters
they now live in? Are people going to start having
kids just to qualify for better homes?
What are they going to eat? I mentioned
this above regarding extra food for pregnant moms,
but now we're talking about literal additional mouths
to feed. How are they going to be clothed? Is Roslin
prepared to create or exponentially increase funding
for welfare? As above, who is going to treat these
kids for their various maladies? Where are they going
to get medicines for vaccines?
How will the food and medicine and clothing
be paid for? If the society is still capitalistic (which
is increasingly ridiculous and unworkable), then just
like us, parents have to work to earn something to
pay for or exchange for goods and services. Who's minding
the kids if both parents have to work to make ends
meet? Is Roslin going to fund day care on every ship?
Who's going to staff those day care centers? Who's
going to train those staffers? Where are they going
to be located? Will parents have to supply their own
food, or is the government going to pay for lunch?
When there are second and third and ninth pregnancies,
will employers be required to give women time off for
doctor's appointments and severe morning sickness?
Gods forfend, what about a woman (and
a man) who doesn't want the child she's been forced
to bear? Is Roslin going to start encouraging adoption,
and make the termination of parental rights easier?
Will foster and adoptive parents be vetted, or will
pimps be allowed to "buy" excess children?
What happens when the little darlings
of this baby boom need to start school? What happens
as they get older, the Fleet eventually outruns the
Cylons, and they need to find work for all these able-bodied
people? Is Roslin planning on giving up the search
for Earth and settling down at some point?
Basically, unless Moore intends to kill
this subplot quickly, he's just opened up the biggest
can of worms to hit sci-fi TV in twenty years. Back
to the rest of the commentary.
Just a thought: I don't mind the idea
of having a group of religious fundamentalists in the
society as a dramatic device, but I think Moore should
drop a note to Casting to make sure that all the characters
aren't played by black actors. That could lead to some
ugly and completely unnecessary audience assumptions
which would detract from storytelling and could easily
be avoided. The pregnant girl is the first white Geminese
I'm glad Lee and Kara have sorted things
out personally, but she still isn't taking responsibility
for her attitude. Maybe she just shouldn't have any
authority besides squadron commander. She does a great
job in the cockpit, but put her in charge of things
and she immediately assumes there's no one else above
her to whom she has to answer. Maybe that's because
when she's in the cockpit leading a wing, there is no
one else to whom she answers.
The scenes of the three basestars strafing Pegasus were
awfully reminiscent of the two battlestars ripping
apart the Resurrection Ship, weren't they?
So Garner rushes down to Engineering,
gets a sledgehammer and a wrench, and goes off to close
the TECH valves. He yells at his little buddy
two and three times to close the door so the air doesn't
leak out through the breach, so it's not like they
don't know where he is or what he's doing. Now, when
air in the room all bleeds out into space,
closing the last valve, the other guy keeps yelling
for Skipper to open the door and get out. Two months
ago show time Lee was in a suit which lost all its
oxygen and a Galactica pilot plucked him from
the vacuum of space to resuscitate him. They had to
use paddles to restart his heart. Garner is only on
the other side of a closed door and has only just passed
out from lack of oxygen. Why doesn't anyone
try to rescue and revive him? I guess Skipper's little
buddy doesn't care that much about him after all? Or
is that more of the pervasive Pegasus attitude,
that if he couldn't save himself then he didn't deserve
Lee does pretty well for his first time
commanding CIC; he has a few moments of hesitation
because he doesn't quite have practice for this, but
he is trained to command and he keeps his head. I guess
shouting comes with time. There's a new Commander Adama
Here's our early guess: Baltar runs for
president and selects Zarek as his VP. Roslin announces
that she remembers seeing him with Six on Caprica,
it sinks his candidacy and Zarek steps up (to lose).
Or Gina is discovered and revealed to have the weapon,
and they realize there's only one way she could have
gotten it. For the structure of the story I don't
see how Roslin can lose, because the purpose of her
character is to
be President. If she loses, it take a huge contrivance
to get her back into office, and if she doesn't get
back into office, what's the purpose of having her
around? Would Moore really lose one of his main characters