Wednesday, November 1

Revenge runs through Galactica

Source: Huston Chronicle

So, did you sweat this one out?

You have to be impressed with the planning of the writers when you realize they set up this week's execution of Jammer way back in Occupation, the first episode of this season. They made him at once a traitor, duplicitous with both friend and foe, and yet sympathetic. All to set up this week's pay-off, that nasty scene in the airlock, and the subsequent suspense over Felix Gaeta. Knowing what happened to Jammer, we were not so sure Gaeta would survive.

(The credited writer of Occupation was Ronald D. Moore. This week was credited to Mark Verheiden.)

It was the most straight-line story we have seen so far this season, but unlike some of the "filler" episodes of mid-season last year, this one was strong, had excellent character growth or revelation, and gave us plenty to think about.

What appeared to be a Kangaroo court, led by Col Saul Tigh -- who has plenty of reason for seeking revenge on those who collaborated with the Cylons -- systematically went about executing those who had given comfort, or at least help, to the enemy. Some, besides Saul, had strong reason for revenge, including the loss of a son.

Turns out it was not an illegal court: It had presidential backing, given by acting president Tom Zarek. Zarek believed he was doing this to avoid complicated trials by circumventing established rights and laws. A swipe at President Bush, perhaps? Certainly a reminder of the currently controversial presidential decisions in dealing with accused terrorists.

Galen was our point of entry, the person through whose eyes we saw much of the story, as he struggled with his need for justice, and his sense that they might be doing some injustice.

Meanwhile, while the human race is dealing with its sticky issues, the Cylons are having their own court.

We get the amusing little dream of Baltar's, seeing himself dependent on those he betrayed. Unfortunately for Baltar, it's not the human opinion he needs to win. The vote to allow Baltar to stay with the Cylons -- the alternative seems all too obvious -- is deadlocked, with the number six models undecided.

By the way, did that room Baltar woke up in feel familiar? It reminded me of the antiseptic luxery room environment that astronaut Bowman wakes up in in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The telling moment is when Number Six informs Baltar she has been wrong and needs to distance herself from him. In true Baltar fashion, Gaius tells her "You need me," only belatedly realizing that maybe what he should have said, to appeal to her so human emotions, was "I need you." Ah, Gaius, you are so, so Gaius.

Back on Galactica, we get to see some of the nastiest we've seen yet of Starbuck, ready to waste Felix, and anyone necessary, to get back some of what was taken from her on New Caprica. As always, Starbuck is determined to learn the hard way.

It looked pretty tight for Felix there toward the end. Especially since he seemed determined to help them along by refusing to explain himself. OK, in the movies it may be cool to be the strong silent type in times of adversity, but if someone every asks me for an explanation before they toss me out into space, I'm opening up and explaining myself even if it's the hundredth time.

Again, one of Galactica's more straightforward episodes in both structure and in message.

There's never been any question that Battlestar Galactica was thinly disguising comment on all kinds of contemporary issues, from abortion to torture. Here's a recent New York Times story that delves into whether that is good or not so good. See if you come to the same conclusion. You have to register to read it, but it's free.

by Louis B. Parks

Newshound: SciFi

1 comment:

Zog The Obvious said...

"Here's a recent New York Times story that delves into whether that is good or not so good. See if you come to the same conclusion. You have to register to read it, but it's free." only forgot one thing. ;)