Thursday, February 1

TV Recap: Taking A Break From All Your Worries

Source: TV Recap

If all of your fears and worries were laid bare, would it liberate you? This week on ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Gaius is coerced into finally admitting his sins during the human genocide by the Cylons. The episode, capably directed by Edward James Olmos, enlightens the human leaders to Baltar’s true fears and the state they’ve left him in. It’s about time we get a full episode devoted to one of the greatest characters on television. A man who is so flawed he himself can’t distinguish the truth in his intentions. Is Baltar a Cylon? This week we get a clear answer, now let the debate begin on how definitive that answer is.

In addition to the Baltar plot, we saw the Lee and Kara storyline furthered. As Lee struggles with his own emotions, he seeks solace from a bottle and a bar. He’s been going to a colony bar, and while there one night he meets up with Chief. There’s a nice juxtaposition between the two men as we learn Callie and Tyrol had a fight. One that he claims was worthy of selling tickets for. In acknowledgement of this Chief proposes a toast, “To marriage. Why we build bars.” This lighthearted statement says a lot about how Chief sees his marriage as opposed to Lee. Lee struggles because he loves another woman. Chief knows whom he loves.

Another night Lee bluntly brings this up to Tyrol. “Do you ever think of Sharon?” Lee asks. Chief tells him he doesn’t, and follows the statement up with a shot. Maybe he does at times, but truthfully Chief has put that behind him. It’s difficult, and occasionally a shot of hard liquor may be needed to push those feelings back down. For Lee, no amount of alcohol will help. A fact Dualla knows well.

When Lee comes home drunk she confronts him. She tells her husband that she knew how he felt about Kara. Dualla also gave him her reason for saying yes to his proposal, “I knew I was lucky to have you for as long as you, or Kara, would let me.” Dualla loved him so much she was willing to have him for as long as possible, even if it meant tremendous hurt later. She lets him know that she understands what’s going on, and now the choice is his to make.

On the other side, Anders and Kara have a post coital discussion about Lee. Anders questions what Leoben said about her destiny. He believes that it wasn’t coincidence that he stayed alive all those months on Caprica waiting for her. Or that she endured so much to rescue him. Anders asks his wife if she loves Lee, and she tells him maybe. He looks at Kara and tells her she should go to him then.

When Kara and Lee meet she asks him if he’d still leave Dualla if she left Anders. He voices a very real concern that she’d just turn around and abandon him. Knowing Kara as we do, and what she did to him the night before marrying Anders, Lee’s point is valid. He doesn’t want to throw away a marriage on the mere hope Kara will reciprocate his love. So, he goes back to Dualla. Pleading and apologizing with everything he has, he tells her he loves her and wants to be with her. Maybe it’s what she needed to hear, or maybe she loves him so much she’ll deal with the fear a little longer, but Dualla accepts his apology.

Baltar, literally and figuratively at the end of his rope, sits in his cell preparing to commit suicide. For a man who’s tried to hide so much, and been unable to absolve himself of his sins, he cannot simply admit the truth. Baltar fears bearing his soul more than death, but not by very much. So with noose around his neck, the Six in his mind pushes the bed out of the way and he hangs. As he struggles for breath and passes out, Baltar is awakened on a Cylon Base Star. He is elated that all his past sins are washed clean; he did not betray his people. “I always knew I was different. Special. Maybe a little gifted,” he tells the Six’s surrounding him. They tell him he’s human and push him back under the goo. Baltar is saved because Gaeta woke up in the night and needed to speak with him. The lieutenant never gets the chance, but now that they know Gaius is ready to kill himself Roslyn wants answers.

President Roslyn visits Baltar in his cell and demands answers. She asks him about Caprica Six and if he colluded with the Cylons during the genocide. He denies involvement in their plans. Frustrated and angry, not to mention desperate for answers, Roslyn orders Colonel Tigh to throw Baltar out an air lock. As the marines drag him through the halls Gaius screams and pleads for his life. It was an amazing scene to watch as this man, who hurts so much inside, struggles for his very existence. Something he was nearly willing to give up not long before. Self-preservation is what drives Gaius in all his choices.

Unable to frighten him into a confession, Admiral Adama recommends a drug interrogation. The drugs will allow them to strip away the façade Gaius puts up, but it’s also risky on a man who is so unbalanced. This method is the only way Adama and Roslyn could possibly get the truth from Baltar. He is so afraid of his truths that there’s no choice but to continue the deception.

What is interesting about all this is he did not collude with the Cylons, at any time. On Caprica he was unaware of what was happening. Caprica Six seduced and deceived him, playing to his lust for sex and power. On New Caprica the Cylons forced his hand at every turn, easily manipulating Baltar who feared death and capture by the humans equally. Baltar is spineless, but it’s fun to watch him as he squirms.

During the interrogation Baltar reveals that he did know Caprica Six before the attack on the colonies. Rosyln has always suspected this, but she had no proof. Now she does, and she has his reasoning. Whether he’s truly culpable for what happened is not for her to decide, by episode end she formally acknowledges that. Baltar also tells them he is not a Cylon. Because the drug strips away everything but his core, it’s hard to deny this proof. There is the lingering question of how the drug would work on a Cylon though. I’ll accept the answer for now, but I’ll still put a question mark next to his name in my mind.

Roslyn still wants to know what information Baltar can provide, but feels it’s time to entice rather than threaten. Gaeta is sent in to get Baltar to help with the projections to Earth. Gaeta is unconvincing in his role, going so far as to stupidly look up at the camera. When Baltar realizes he’s been betrayed, he turns on Gaeta. Baltar makes accusations about the Lieutenant’s role on New Caprica, and when he leans in to whisper a dark secret he threatens to reveal, Gaius is pushed back by Gaeta. Gaeta then stabs Baltar in the neck with a pen. Admiral Adama is able to hit Gaeta and Doc Cottle says Baltar will live. Roslyn tells Adama it is time for Baltar to get his trial.

As he lies in the hospital bed Caprica Six climbs in next to Baltar. She asks if he confessed he is the “Chosen One.” “Everybody’s got to have a secret,” he tells her. Which is exactly how you got yourself into this mess. It’s nice to see that no matter what happens, Gaius Baltar is going to continue being the self-serving git we know and love.

So, another week gone by and another fantastic episode. Baltar is such a fascinating bad guy. You can’t help but understand exactly where he’s coming from, and feel the fear he has in confessing. We know the truth of his involvement in the genocide. Even though he is not responsible, he did play a part. This small truth forces Baltar to hide his sins. After the interrogation he commented that now he feels liberated. It’s not liberation he seeks though, or else he would tell Adama and Roslyn everything else he knows that wasn’t asked.

What did you think of the episode? Is Baltar definitely not a Cylon? How would you feel about Lee and Kara if they left their spouses to be together?

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