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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Collaborators"

Not as difficult to watch as one might think on paper, given how obviously wrong the secret tribunal was behaving. This was more of a loose-ends wrap-up, moving characters around and advancing larger arcs, kind of like Season 2's "Epiphanies," which was necessary to continue stories but wasn't so powerful on its own.

It actually took us most of the opening scene to figure out whether it was Jammer or Gaeta being sentenced! Logically it had to be Jammer, given the setup from the first four eps, because he was the one we could recognize and might have some investment in.

Let me say right off the bat: the idea of a secret tribunal is wrong. Trial yes, evidence yes. But not the same jury for each trial, and the accused has the right to a defense, and to representation. What the Angry Six were doing was frontier justice with a veneer of legal mumbo-jumbo to sop the conscience. If there was sufficient evidence to convict a particular person of treason, and given what we saw of Jammer there might have been, then yes, the sentence for treason is death. But not the way they handled the "trial," and not execution by airlock. And perhaps Jammer saving Cally might have been enough to sway a different jury to give him a different sentence. The Angry Six don't get to decide all that. They don't get to convict on emotion and circumstantial evidence, as Tigh did of Gaeta. They didn't know what he did or didn't do. They don't have the right to decide his fate based on their desire for vengeance. And, of course, the Angry Six are also "collaborators," holding these secret trials and executing people whom they the almighty deem guilty.

Moogie called Baltar's dream immediately; when Ghost Six strutted in wearing a new red outfit and nobody else was speaking, I started to suspect, but I didn't know for sure. Love that he wakes up in a room under an enormous swishing red eyeball! (Although not for anything, that couch would be really uncomfortable to do anything but drape oneself languorously. It's not built for sleeping or knocking boots, and the SPOTLIGHT underneath doesn't help.) When Threena came in and started pouting and posing on the divan, I wondered for a moment if Rebel Six had died and her personality had gotten downloaded into the wrong model....

Poor Anders. He finally earns his name and gets shuffled off. He was a good fighter, and a surprisingly good leader, but he never wanted to be a soldier. He can actually think about the war being over, about not fighting any more. It's the military folks who are having a hard time letting go.

I was absolutely delighted to see that the Colonials (and the writers) respected the rule of law and had Zarek take the Octagonal Office, so Roslin had to reclaim it through proper parliamentary procedures. We'll have to see whether she kept her bargain with the devil and made him her VP as she originally agreed. I sort of hope so -- as the old saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Unlike former vice president Baltar, Zarek has no outside duties or second job to keep him plausibly wandering off, and has shown demonstrable interest in politics, statecraft, power, and leadership. He does want to be on the inside, so he's going to stick around and be part of policy-making. That will allow Roslin to keep an eye on any extra-curricular activities he might choose to indulge in. (and why isn't she ever allowed a VP who's on her side?)

Tigh, and anyone else in CIC, might well be justified in being angry with Gaeta, or choosing not to speak to him off-duty (since he didn't explain how he helped the resistance until the end). It does not justify the verbal assault, and certainly not while in uniform. If Adama ordered everyone to work with Gaeta to get the ship back up to speed, everyone has a duty to do so, or to request some kind of duty change through official channels. Having a hissy fit on the Bridge is unacceptable.

Speaking of Tigh, is he trying to expiate his guilt over Lady MacTigh, or is he just unable to stop waging war? He fought, I think there were two Cylon wars originally forty years back, then this war, and now the battle on New Caprica. Does he feel like he can't stop fighting? If the tribunals had continued and all fifty-odd people had been executed, would he have been sated? Or would he have kept going some other way? Does he feel he has some kind of special moral permission or right to be part of the Angry Six because he executed Lady MacTigh?

Is Baltar hooked on Vicodin, trellium, or just some macguffinite to be revealed later when it's useful to have him in withdrawal?

As seen on TV: Doc Cottle's Jump Rope Diet! You'll float like a butterfly in only ten easy episodes!

Starbuck rushes to judgment (as usual, and quite typically for her) and assumes that Gaeta both knew about her imprisonment and that he did nothing about it. But it was one particular Cylon who was keeping her locked up, not the Vichy Colonials, so Gaeta wouldn't really have known about her regardless. Of course, we as the audience realize this, since we're given the omniscient look into everyone's tortured soul, but Gaeta is protesting to a brick wall here. She demands that he beg because she literally needs someone to kick around. She can't get back at Buckin' Leoben, no matter how many times she killed him, so she's looking for other targets. Really, anyone in the entire fleet who has the least training in psychotherapy needs to volunteer or be drafted, pronto.

I would have loved to seen the arguments between Boomer and the other Sixes as they tried to sway Rebel Six to their side against Baltar. Maybe that's being saved for another episode. But what are they going to do with him? Toss him back to the Colonials? Abandon him on a Cylon colony? Execute him? Borgify him?

I am a little surprised that Anders chose to walk when Kara pushed him away. You'd think after the last four months, after the last year and a half, after how she went through Fall, fog, and fire to get him and the others off Caprica, that he'd know her well enough to recognize when she's being bullheaded and not let her leave. You wouldn't think he'd be willing to end the relationship! I hope Moore and Co. aren't rushing through this arc, and that we see more of the struggle between them.

We were disappointed that Tyrol went through with the Angry Six all the way to the bitter mistaken end with Gaeta. We thought he was going to find out about someone, like Gaeta, and take it to Adama, who would find out that Tigh was heading off the deep end. Kara would have been the other choice, but she's equally likely to stay, given her anger and her general lack of maturity.

I could not believe Zarek authorized the tribunals. While he does have a point about the publicity, the martyrdom, people getting off on technicalities, etc. -- hey, that's how the system works. It's messy, but it's mostly fair. Everyone gets the chance to defend themselves. We do forget, as charming as Zarek is, that he was in prison because he blew up a government building and killed people. He's not afraid of deadly expediency.

Mary McDonnell was deliciously frightening to watch, with that icy smile and sweet unruffled calm in the face of Zarek's rationalizing. She lives and dies by the system. It caught her out last time and she submitted to it. It's how Adama knows he can trust her, when he can't trust Zarek, even if Zarek has good ideas sometimes.

Did Roslin make the right move, with the Commission on Truth and Reconciliation and the pardons? I think she saw some of the truth in what Zarek was saying, and tried to use that wisely. It was a long slide into a bad situation under Weaseltar, and five terrible months on New Caprica. The wounds shouldn't be ignored, but they don't need to be repeatedly ripped open.

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