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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Exodus, part 2"

You did it... you brought 'em home, Saul.
Not all of them.

In heartbreak and hope, the Colonials escape New Caprica. Some of the experiments failed (human settlement, Cylons "living in peace" with the Colonials), some succeeded (marriages and families). We lost assets (Pegasus and Hera) and liabilities (Baltar and Lady MacTigh). And when the shock wears off, it's going to be quite a mess getting the planetbound reacquainted with the ships, and those who stayed on the ships coping with the new relationships among those who went planetside.

So Lee is chafing at Adama's orders, and Dee gives him what is supposed to be a moving and stirring speech encouraging him to pick up the mantle of command and lead the civilians on to Earth. But we know he isn't going to sit there and let Adama get baked, so the entire time I was just waiting for him to interrupt her or contradict her or override her. This speech would be fine if he (and the audience) thought Adama was dead, but the setup simply doesn't work.

Anders makes some very important points in his short diatribe to Tigh. In doing what she did to save her husband, Lady MacTigh not only risked the armed teams in the woods, she risked Galactica, and thereby the rescue effort, and thereby the entire city -- the entire race. As I said before, pulling someone out of the sacrificial line of fire in battle is one thing, but deliberately thwarting plans so one person is safe while exposing tens of thousands of others is not how a military wife should think.

But Lady MacTigh was never cut out to be a military wife. She was never the kind who could keep the home fires burning while her husband was out battling the Cylons even in the first war. She's clever, ambitious, and high-maintenance, but without any clear purpose or task -- a bad combination for someone who's left alone in idleness for long periods of time. So the first time around she amused herself with boyfriends, and after the destruction of the Colonies she tried her hand at various allegiances (Zarek and his cronies) and schemes (pushing Tigh into declaring martial law while Adama was injured).

I don't think there was ever really a doubt that she loved him. She just needed a lot more from him than he could give her. And on New Caprica, what he needed from her was not just plotting but discipline. If she had worked within the framework of the insurgency, if she had told Anders and Tyrol what she was doing to free Tigh in concert with their activities, she might have been able to come to them when Brother Cy threatened her, and together the four of them might have found a way out -- a fake location, a decoy team, a double heading in the other direction.

But Tigh can't trust her. He couldn't ever, really, given her history, and in extremis she reverts to type and uses the weapons she has, in the way which has always worked in the past. That means deceit. It means being an "independent agent" in the midst of the rebellion. And they can't afford that. She's not merely a leak, but an active threat. She's a forced double agent.

Being forced is the only dividing line between what she does and outright treason, which is why I think they give Tigh the opportunity to handle things himself. Anders recognizes that she acted out of weakness, and love, rather than loyalty to the opposition, so he doesn't put her in front of a firing squad. But he does make it clear that she cannot, cannot be allowed to put 37,000 people to death to save Tigh. And at that moment, when things are moving so fast and so secretly, there's no time to tie her up and throw her in a brig until it's all over. They can't even trust her to go to one of the evacuation ships, because they don't know if she might tell one of the Cylons about that end of the plans. Now, they could have just drugged her and slung her over someone's shoulder like an invalid, but that might have just carried her sentencing onto Galactica. And I think Anders didn't trust that she might not find some way to escape and feed the Cylons more information. That bit of reasoning is why Anders made his comments so final. "You know what has to be done here." Both in punishment and in protection, they can't let Ellen Tigh live any longer.

The saddest part is, she truly loved her husband, and at the end she was finally faithful to him in her heart. She wasn't twisting with Brother Cy because she was bored, but to save Tigh's life. It was both a gift to him, to their marriage, and it sealed her doom. She kept saying "I would do anything for you, Saul." In the military, in a chain of command, there are some things you don't do. She was an unpredictable variable, a loose smart missile operating on emotion and the best of misguided intentions. She had to die.

He never blames her, never curses her, never says a word of reproach. She speaks her heart, and he holds her, and tells her he loves her as she dies. And a lot of his heart dies with her, I think -- it'll be interesting to see what happens to him in the next year, as he comes to terms with what he did.

Baltar seems to be actively courting suicide at some points. He insults and baits the Cylon High Command. He literally begs Gaeta to shoot him. But he turns and runs at the end, going to safety with Rebel Six. He's bottomed out, but he's just not brave enough to die for his sins. Now that he has nowhere else to go but the embrace of his enemies, will he start working against them on behalf of the Colonials? Will he escape with Hera/Isis and return, begging sanctuary and spinning a wild story of sneaking off with them in order to save her? Will he get a tall spinning chair? ;)

Threena asks of Baltar, if the Cylons left, would the Colonials teach their children and grandchildren about the eeeeevil Cylon oppressors who committed genocide, and fill them with vengeance to go out and track the Cylons down again. She does have a point. But: if you don't want people to hunt you down for genocide and oppression... maybe don't commit atrocities in the first place? Would the Colonials be lying to say the Cylons had slaughtered and tortured them? If the humans had left the Cylons alone for forty years, why did the Cylons come back to start things up again? (Of course, we still don't know the backstory of the first war, the escape of the Cylons, or what they were doing while "in exile.") And it's Baltar, the weasel, head of the Vichy government, who tells her "Blood for blood has to stop someday."

Arms cache under the Triad court AAAAAAAHAHAHAHA

Roslin seems determined to resume the Octagonal Office, but if openly-elected Baltar is no longer, uh, around to be president, then the office should go to his VP... Tom Zarek. That all happened before the Cylons arrived. Even if the entire ticket is impeached, or if Zarek chooses to step down, he should still get the courtesy of an initial offer. And Roslin doesn't hold any official position in the government that we know of -- she went back to teaching; she wasn't part of the Quorum that we ever saw -- so how could she be in the chain of command for the presidency? I realize that the people would likely stampede to put her back in, and that dramatically the character belongs there, but I guess even a vague nod to rules and regs might have been nice.

What happens when they find that Jammer, suddenly part of Roslin's retinue, was in the secret police? (Hubby thought Jammer might turn her in to the Cylons en route to Colonial One, but I thought there was way too much chaos for him to even bother, and besides, he had just had a crisis of conscience over Cally and wouldn't want to turn her in. He ran off from the execution scene, recall.)

At least Adama learned Troi's lesson -- it's a bad thing to land a starship -- but there's nothing in the Banned Maneuvers list about taking a starship into atmosphere and then jumping out again en route to the ground! Holy frak, the thunder alone would have flattened the nearest Cylon outpost! I didn't even know the Vipers could fly in atmosphere.

Quick shot of the message-passing file cabinet as we run by...

So Kara was being held in a standard detention center. Which was why nobody answered her screams -- none of them "belonged there." I'm still incredibly annoyed about the "instant mom, just add water" attitude Kara is supposed to have about Kacey. She's the only one who thought the kid might be hers; nobody watching did. It turns out Kacey is a human child -- not even part Cylon -- nicked from somewhere else in the city, so it's good that she was saved. But this business about Kara falling for her so hard so fast over an injury is just insulting to the audience. Even when a woman gives birth, she doesn't necessarily attach with gale-force suction to her child in the first hour. I find it beyond belief that a person (let's put gender aside) who has never had children nor expressed any desire for them, even idly, would accept what this particularly untruthful model of Cylon would tell her about this toddler. Sackhoff does a good job with the material, but I simply can't buy the premise.

Lee sails in with Pegasus to save Galactica... gee, nobody saw that coming. ("Damn you, Lee... thank you, Lee." That was nice. I don't know if Adama will bother to bust him a rank next week, although it might make things easier to fit him back into the roster of pilots.)

Why did Threena offer to take Baltar with them? As a source of information about the humans? He couldn't be a hostage; the Colonials would be just as happy to let him die. There wouldn't seem to be much motive for her to offer a sop to Rebel Six. Does she know about Ghost Six's prophecy that Baltar would raise Hera? (and Ghost Six turned out to be right! who knew?)

Ah, poor disillusioned Gaeta. He admired Baltar, thought he was right, thought he was brilliant, and watched him sink into debauchery and finally collaboration with the enemy. Obviously he couldn't kill one of the humans in the main cast, but it was nice to see him declare his broken loyalty. Now, will the Colonials take Gaeta back? Adama might. The others I'm not so sure of.

Pegasus takes out two basestars in her death throes! Cain from either series would have been proud. (and nice tip of the hat to the Pegasus from the original series, by the way, which was lost doing just that.)

Buckin' Leoben's mistake is that he keeps forgetting Kara has this fondness for killing him just at the moment when she's being sweetest...

Why does Rebel Six think that Threena won't bother to destroy the city once she has Hera? What do they have to do with each other? And how is it that Ghost Six shows up for just a moment while Rebel Six is standing behind Baltar? I know Moore and Co. haven't defined what she is, but now it's starting to get a little wearing. Give us some clue so we know what we're looking at, folks. (And Ghost Six declaring "I'm an angel of God" is not sufficient.)

So now everyone who was on New Caprica has to readjust to living on the ships again. The ones who stayed on Galactica rearranged things to their liking, and the settlers formed their relationships, and not all of those are going to mesh back into a working whole. Cally used to be one of Tyrol's workers; now she's his wife. Jammer was in the secret police, and was the one who both arrested Cally and let her go. Can he work beside her again? Sharon was known to those on Galactica, and even some of the fleet crew were upset that she was released and given a uniform. I can't see Adama locking her up again as long as she behaves herself. Do the other officers and crew who settled know about her release? Are they going to be okay with a copy of one of their oppressors walking freely in the halls? What about the civilians? Last season some of them were upset to hear about her presence on Galactica while she was locked up. How are they going to react to hearing that she's now a pilot?

And speaking of reintegrating crews, what about those on Pegasus? They had a good 16 months to get used to Lee's command style, which is like Adama's rather than Cain's. But there were still the NCOs who thought it was okay to rape Gina, and not all of them have died or mellowed. How did they adjust? Will all the military folk go to Galactica, or will they spread some people out among the fleet? That could be a potential source for trouble, if a malcontent leaves for some other ship and starts agitating there -- and brings up Sharon.

What happened to the Astral Queen? Did the prisoners get the right to come down to the surface? Were they furloughed? pardoned? Are they locked up again now?

Adama sees the condition Tigh is in, physically and emotionally, and his joy is cut short. He wants to go to his old friend, to help him, but the crowd sweeps him up in their jubilation and need. A beautiful little beat between the two of them, with Adama twisting and looking over his shoulder to try to see Tigh as he walks away.

We were rather relieved to see the 'stache go. It made Olmos look ten years older than he already is, and was unnecessarily distracting. And it was nice to wrap up on a hopeful beat for once.

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