I loves me some political metaphor in my sci-fi. So for me, the beauty of introducing The Pegasus to the Battlestar Galactica plotline has been the opportunity to get truly heavy-handed with the post-9/11 metaphor that the show has been toying with since the Cylons "terrorized" Caprica in the first episode. The writers seem completely unabashed at this point about ripping their stories directly from the headlines. If you don't see a bit of Cheney or Rumsfeld in Admiral Cain, with her "acceptable losses" approach to warfare and her Abu Ghraib treatment of prisoners, then ... well, then you're probably not a rabid liberal like me.
Politics aside, as Mama Cain and Papa Adama bring the colonial fleet to the brink of a showdown, it's the kids -- Starbuck and Apollo -- who save the day. Together, these two manage to steal the Blackbird, reconnoiter the Cylons, bring the colonial showdown to an end, supply Helo and the chief with a temporary stay of execution, and plan the destruction of the Cylon fleet. No big woop. Cain and Adama agree to put their fundamental differences about the inherent value of civilian (or Cylon) liberties aside long enough to play nice and carry this plan out, biding their time until one can assassinate the other. Among the ships to be destroyed is The Resurrection, a ship full of naked Six and Sharon bodies waiting for recycled souls -- the snapshot of which I'm sure made pubescent fan boys across the nation heave a collective sigh.
As a stand-alone episode, this one wasn't stellar. It does more wrapping up of the previous cliffhanger and setting up for the second part than anything else. But it does both well, and bridges the gap nicely. Next week on Battlestar Galactica: Will either Cain or Adama get their frakking head blown off? Can Baltar find true happiness with the battered Gina Six? And will Roslin get her hands on a hot new Cylon body before she dies?
[guest-posted by the geekboy]
Battlestar returns tomorrow, and this season Janet and the geekboy will be taking turns with commentary. TVGasm has a nice post about the show with lots of linky goodness.
Oh my, was that another jawdropping installment, although I am pissed at the SciFi blue monkeys (TM Save Farscape) for giving away a huge plot point in the promos. Honestly, Adama giving the command to cut throught the hull of Colonial One would have been just as enticing as showing Lee confroting Tigh - which was the climax of the scene. Hello! Plus, Lee is the President's advisor and thus a dubious dramatic choice to lead a coup, but it led to some fine moments. Is Adama quick on the draw or what? I admit I was a little rattled at "piss me off, coup you," but then again, it's been made clear all along that he considers himself in charge and Roslin is to fall in line, at least where military decisions are made.
I am impressed how well the Six/Starbuck - Boomer/Helo meetup on Caprica paid off. How great that Starbuck was beaten to a bloody pulp and still didn't need to be rescued. Best impalement since Dead Again. What a great emotional breakdown she has when she realizes Boomer is one of many, and preggo to boot. Is CapricaBoomer coming home? I hope someone knows where that arrow went to.
Speaking of Boomerage, Galactica Boomer was the best part. Those naked copies stopping by to say "Hi" were creepy as hell. And I didn't see the assassation attempt coming AT ALL. I actually gasped. Thank the gods of Kobol I know Olmos is under contract cause - geez. And the way they focused on Lee, personalizing the possible loss of his parent, was a brilliant choice.
There's spec that Gaeta had a hand in the assassination attempt - did you spot anything? And what was with that crib? Could corporeal CapricaSix have gotten pregnant before the genocide? Or was that a reference to Boomerbaby?
So. Is it "on plan" for Boomer to blow up the basestar and/or shoot Adama? Part of me says it all was, since I can see why the Cylons want plausible deniabilty to allow Baltar's rescue from Kobol. But the assassination struck me as spontaneous and impulsive, but that could have been the editing. I can see how it would work either way - and that's a good show.
All in all a fine way to cap off a stellar first season. See you in July!
[guest-posted by janet]
My jaw is aching from hanging open so much. What an amazing hour of TV. So it all boils down to: what do you believe?
I believe that was one of the most splendid opening sequences ever. I believe Starbuck when she says her frak session with Baltar was just that. I believe that poker room scene / hangar deck slaparama were two of the most uncomfortable scenes ever on this show. I can't believe Helo shot Boomer, or that Boomer shot herself because many a show wouldn't go that far. I know it wasn't fatal for either, but still. I wonder if Baltar would take his own advice. Confidential to Sharon: no one will believe you were cleaning your gun with your mouth, dear. I believe Pres. Roslin truly believes she is the prophesied leader, and she is starting to get freaky. I thought I believed that when Six warned Baltar off Galactica it was for his best interest, until I saw all the Cylons ready to eat him like a livasnap (note to self: best crash sequence ever).
I can't believe that Roslin went behind Adama's back and got Starbuck to fetch something important humanity left behind. Although if I were a betting woman, I suspect this is how we get Helo back to the Fleet. But still, I would rather fly into a Cylon basestar with a nuke than face the wrath of Adama. Unless, of course, I was a Cylon sleeper agent. Unless I was one with a deathwish. Yeesh.
I believe we have confirmation of the time loop - congrats, Geekboy! But who's path is the right one, Roslin's or Adama's? Which one ends the cycle or allows it to continue or whatever the frak is right? What do you believe?
[guest-posted by janet]
It's Colonial Day and time for the business of big politics. Pres. Roslin has called for an Interim Quorum of the Twelve Colonies (say that 5 times fast.) The meeting is on Cloud Nine, or as I like to think of it, a realistic reimagining of the Casino Planet from the original series. Our man Baltar is sent to represent Caprica; he shows his excitement by napping through the debates. Tom Zarek AKA Old School Apollo has graduated from bombing buildings to running for Vice President on a posteconomy radical social ticket. Once Pres. Roslin sees Baltar awake from his nap and on TV charming the pants off the press, she dumps her steady eddy choice from the ticket and convinces Baltar to run. In another effective bathroom scene, Baltar accepts and immediately charms the pants off a press, apparently with Six's blessing. Can't keep a good horndog down. Zarek vs. Baltar yields a tie vote (and damned if my sign didn't vote for Zarek); Roslin gets to decide and the slimiest excuse for a Vice President since, well, the current one, gets sent to the big show.
Meanwhile, cable TV punditry, like cockroaches, survives the holocaust; LoudEllen backs Zarek; shirtless!Apollo! cleanedup!Starbuck! Apollo and Starbuck keep the peace only to turn up a shooter; Starbuck's track record keeping prisoners alive stays at zero; human size air vents=classic plot device; Zarek claims no knowledge of the death, so whodunit. And in their six weekly minutes, Helo and Boomer try to escape when he sees more than one Boomer and, sensibly, runs away from them.
[guest-posted by Janet]
...You must have one of them new fangled back door man."
Baltar and Pres. Roslin are both getting information from the great beyond. God shows Baltar where the tylium ore processing units are, making me even more confused which side God is on, but Six would probably tell me there are no sides, there is only prophecy. Which is sort of like hoping for your own annihilation to bring about the end of days - a counterintuitive move if there ever was one. Meanwhile, Roslin sees snakes during a press conference, which is caused by A) kamala, her homeopathic breast cancer medicine; B) a vision from their book of prophecy; C) answering stupid questions at a press conference; or D) all of the above.
Although they may be God's instruments, neither one is told about Cmdr. Adama's supersneaky secret Vipers that save Galactica and win the tylium mine from the Cylons. He didn't tell me either, and I was dying! Plus: lots of great battle scenes; Adama/Adama bonding; scrambling; Chuckles is the new redshirt; Lee Adama channeling "Now let's blow this thing and go home;" Six leading a strange Cylon parade; Starbuck/Adama/Adama bonding; champagne popping; and Cylon-on-Caprica morning sickness. And can we assume this episode rules out Starbuck and Cmdr. Adama as Cylons, since only they knew about the back door plan?
guest-posted by janet
What a surprising amount of whimsy for such a gloweringly serious series. Which put me in mind of another hit show that mixes serious with a lot of fun.
Bree, the perfect front. President Roslin wastes little time telling Adama she thinks he's the Cylon. He behaves in the time-honored suspicious fashion of those under suspicion. Turns out he has an even more suspicious candidate to proffer, specifically Colonel Tigh's mysteriously-not-dead wife Ellen, channeling Jessica Lange in Blue Sky like nobody's business. So she's either a very blowsy human or a heavy-drinking Cylon hiding in plain sight. Baltar will never tell.
Gabrielle, the wandering wife: Baltar gets off invisibly getting off front of friends and co-workers. I reckon that the "11 hour Cylon test" is 2 hours work, 9 hours masturbatory fantasy. Loved the parental disclaimer before this ep -- torture and genocide::fine, robotfrakking::avert the eyes of the children.
Lynette, the domestic doldrum: Caprica. Helo/Boomer on the run. Same as it was last week and the week before that.
Susan, the loveable goof: Who's at the top of the Cylon test list -- whoever called you last, that's who. Lee Adama's expressions while fending off footsy. Deadpan Starbuck. Adama handing back the liquor. So many little moments add up to a big hee.
guest-posted by janet
So a "Colonies' Most-Wanted" Cylon model is caught and Cmdr. Adama sends Starbuck to interrogate it, with methods I presume she learned in pilot school hazing. He warns her the Cylon will try to get into her head. True that, since Cylon Leobon seems thrilled that Starbuck got the assignment and immediately fills her head with polytheism vs monotheism, machines who have souls, Kobol and Earth. After much dunking, President Roslin arrives to goodcop a confession, then dispatches Leobon to an airlock for immediate flushing. I love President Roslin. Leobon whispers "Adama is a Cylon" into her ear; his suck into space is an eerie reenactment of a dream she had at the top of the episode. So was he there for you too, Roslin? I think so. Meanwhile, Boomer volunteers for Baltar's Cylon detector; boy, is he lucky he didn't get around to installing the "whooping siren" feature since the LED display goes right to maximum Cylon. Six advises him that the Cylon part of Boomer will snap his neck if he outs her, so for now, it's his little secret. CapricaSix commands CapricaBoomer to settle down a for some Cylon-plan domestic tranquility with Helo; CapricaBoomer immediately runs off with Helo far, far away. I think the Boomers are off plan.
Questions: Was Leobon telling the truth about the Adama? Why does Six want a functioning Cylon detector built? What will Baltar do with the information about Boomer's high cylonic? Where is Apollo's storyline? What I can tell you is that this series wraps up in early April, and Sci Fi will rush season 2 to us this summer. Sweet.
[guest posted by janet]
This episode was chockful of parallels that raised questions. The president saves her own face in public post pill-induced fainting, then repeats it all over again for Baltar - after that speech in his cell, can I assume that was for public consumption only? Figment Six and Corporeal Six - since we only see one at a time, is that part of the plan to isolate and unbalance Baltar or technical limitations? GalacticaBoomer and CapricaBoomer - are they networked to a degree or was the intercutting between the two just narrative? GBoomer squickily caressing the ship, then Starbuck commanding it and having success - what was the difference?
Liked: Shelley Godfrey's name (I took it as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein + God-free); Adama questioning the motives of hot women coming on to him; Starbuck demanding her medication; Cally laughing at Tyrol getting icky with it; unisex potties; those cool running robot Cylons; characters who smoke, eat at their desks, pop pills to keep going, and have meetings in the bathroom. Big questions: Who wrote "Cylon" on GalacticaBoomer's mirror? Where did Shelley Godfrey disappear to? What's the deal with the obligatory 5 minute check-in on Caprica - are we headed for a Cylonbaby? Where is Apollo's storyline? Do you think that evangelical Cylons write letters to the Colonial FCC? And since Cylon spines glow at the moment of profound machine happiness, will Gaius ever say, "I got your Cylon detector right here - in my pants, baby!"
guest posted by janet