Thursday, March 8

Galactica Station's Review of Day in the Life

Cadet Bopone offers his thoughts on the 314 episode the day in the life episode.

Episode 315--"A Day in the Life" is an episode mainly of character development featuring looks at Chief Tyrol and Cally, Admiral Adama's anniversary of his marriage to the first Mrs. Adama (Lee's mother), and some nice scenes of Admiral Adama and President Roslin discussing legal points of Baltar's coming trial, but with a much stronger romantic subtext than we have seen previously. And we get a few glimpses of issues and items not dealt with much dating all the way back to the miniseries. And this is possibly the most Adama-centric episode of the series, with Admiral Adama being strongly involved in all parts of the show.

The opening of the show set the Chief's mood for the entire episode for me. He is obviously tired, feeling harassed, and kind of irritable. He and Cally are obviously overstressed, in part because Cally feels that the Chief is not making allowances for having a family. This being Battlestar Galactica, the two don't just have a fight, but end up trapped in an poorly repaired airlock. It seems that the Chief has gotten (temporarily, probably) ahead in Viper maintenance and has turned to trying to fix some of the many, many problems that our aging battlestar has due to her many, months of hard use with little or no down time. Machines and men break down under such stress.

Chief Tyrol's and Cally's problems are so much on their minds that even during a life-and-death situation, trapped in a leaking airlock, they cannot help but snap at each other. As the air trickles down to zero, a desperate plan is hatched to save them by blowing the outer door of the airlock and having them leap through space (without pressure suits) into a Raptor waiting just outside. Neither Cally nor Tyrol are particularly pleased with this plan but there is no time for an alternative. Cally and Tyrol make the jump and are rescued but both suffer damage from the explosive decompression and exposure to vacuum, Cally more than the Chief. (BTW-kudos to the makeup department for giving Cally burst capillaries while in the hyperbaric chamber--that is exactly one of the major effects one would see on someone.) When a crewmember brings Nikky to see his dad, Tyrol drags himself out of bed to Cally's hyberbaric chamber, showing Cally their son and promising Cally that things will be different between them in future.

Admiral Adama is greatly affected by the anniversary of his wedding to his first wife, Caroline. Col. Tigh, knowing how much this day affects Adama, tries to get him to take the day (or at least the morning) off, but Adama won't hear of it. And since this is Lee's mother, these feelings bring back to the front issues not dealt with in the show since Season 1 or even the mini-series. Again we see Lee's anger and resentment toward both parents. Adama again tries to push his personal feelings aside to hide behind the mask of command--a matter the "ghost" of Caroline. Much of the episode is Adama having a conversation with his dead ex-wife. Some fans may ask if Adama is "projecting" ala Baltar and Virtual Six (as the scenes are portrayed the same way with Adama blinking back to Caroline's house back in the Colonies), but it would be simpler to assume Adama is just remembering her as he last saw her and these memories bring back images of where and when that last meeting was.

An important piece of back-story comes out when Lee comes to his father to ask why Adama is acting so different today. It seems that post-divorce, Caroline developed a drinking problem and was to some degree (verbally or worse) was abusive during her drinking binges. Adama had been holding to an idealized view of his ex-wife and tries to avoid seeing her in such a negative light. The scene of Lee and his father talking about Lee's mother are some of the best Lee/Adama scenes we have yet seen, with Lee bringing out the hurt that he had avoided even thinking of himself for some time.

This episode also has some good scenes of Roslin and Adama. Roslin and Adama shippers should be most happy with the scenes with Roslin seeming to make excuses to get off of Colonial One and visit Galactica to spend time with Adama. The two dance around their mutual attraction with a discussion of the possible life each might have made if they'd stayed on New Caprica (sans Cylons, of course). Roslin also replays as scene from very early in the show where she gives Adama a mystery novel, repeating Adama's line that "the book was a gift not a loan."

Also during these scenes in the discussion of how to try Baltar, we have the clear implication that there was not any Colonial Federal legal or court system, except that perhaps of the Colonial Fleet's military system. Roslin in passing asks if Baltar should be tried under Caprican, Gemmenese, Picon law and points out that legal talent is thin on the ground in the RTF. She attempts to enlist Lee in setting up a legal system to try Baltar but Lee refuses, shouldering heavy burdens as CAG (even with the temporary lull of 49 days without an enemy contact). Adama accepts Lee's refusal but later in the episode sends Lee the law books of Joseph Adama (Lee's grandfather), which may be one of the few complete copies in the Fleet.

As with most of Season 3.5, we had a "bonus" scene at the end of the episode, with a longer version being available on-line. The scene while not integral to the plot was a nice comedic scene between Mr. Gaeta and Dee, where Gaeta speculates on why Roslin and Adama spend so much time together, implying that there is budding romance there, a prospect that the relative youngsters of Dee and Gaeta find funny and mildly disgusting.

Overall I give this episode a solid 8 out of a possible 10. The pacing, unlike several recent episodes, was good and felt right. I was a bit disappointed that we were given no idea at all how the Cylons have been reacting since "Rapture" nor was any visible sign given us of how much closer the RTF is to Earth. But still a very solid episode with good character development from characters we haven't spent much time with lately.

Source: Bopone

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