Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S01E06 – Litmus

In the sixth episode of the first season of Battlestar Galactica, Tyrol and Boomer’s lies begin to compound and complicate themselves when a Cylon agent is discovered on board the Galactica. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.

So I must be a bit honest about what I knew about Battlestar Galactica before I started this. My only real experience with the show is entirely through jokes made about Dwight Schrute on The Office. That is possibly the most ridiculous sentence I have ever typed. And the nature of the jokes flung at him got this idea of what sort of show BSG would be, and I think it helps explain why I’m so instantly floored by what I’m watching.

Given Dwight’s character on the office, I think I expected BSG to be just as ridiculous and over-the-top as he is. In my head, Battlestar Galactica was far less sci-fi, and more a fantasy: ridiculously detailed, with a complicated mythology, with characters speaking in a self-important tone, and, most importantly, none of it contained a shred of realism.

I half-expected the show to be like those ridiculous fantasy covers you see sometimes:

What’s so absurd about this is that I cannot explain why I thought this way. It makes no sense at all! Even worse, when you think about Dwight Schrute’s character, he would actually be attracted to a sci-fi show that is hyper-real. FACT: YOU CANNOT SEARCH FOR STARBUCK WITHOUT WASTING PRECIOUS FUEL RESERVES. (Now I’m thinking about how hilarious it would be to insert Dwight into this show. Hmmmm.)

I’m also used to shows giving a strong pilot (at least shows I dedicate myself to watching) and then settling in for a lot of character growth and exposition. It’s not that Battlestar Galactica isn’t doing that (it is), but….seriously. We’re on the sixth episode, and all of them so far are incredibly tense and action-packed. They’re still intense, they’re still deeply tied to the main mythology and plot of the story, and now the entire Cylon plot has been blown wide open.

Yet even amidst that, we have so many brilliant, heart-breaking, and entertaining character portraits of the various people in the gigantic ensemble cast. This episode does something kind of amazing in that regard. In just fifty minutes, it feels as if the main cast was doubled in size. A lot of “Litmus” revolves around secondary and tertiary characters, who all have their own lives and own motivations, and we’re shown how the actions of Boomer, Tyrol, Adama, and Sergeant Hadrian affect people the main characters might never even speak to.

Boomer and Tyrol’s relationship really could not have lasted much longer, truthfully. I’m glad the writers decided to deal with it earlier, rather than later, and there’s probably no better impetus to do so than to prop up the couple’s complicated network of lies against a Cylon invasion. Part of this unraveling is pure chance, but the way this is framed, it is most certainly a painful, uncomfortable examination of Tyrol’s mistakes.

“Litmus” certainly has one of the creepiest cold opens of season one, and it became a guessing game to see who the civilian implant would be. (I don’t think it’s a bad thing that it was obvious that someone entering the ship would be a familiar face or a Cylon.) Once I realized it was Doral, a million questions flooded into my head, namely one specific one: Uh, don’t they know he’s a Cylon? But he was banking on the fact that only a small handful of crew knew his true identity. Second on my mind: What the hell is he doing there? If he was able to get on the ship as a civilian, this suggested something a whole lot more terrifying: He was in the fleet to begin with. And seriously, I love that this is barely addressed at all in this episode, understandably so, too, since there’s a lot to distract them from this idea. But if there’s a Doral Cylon in the fleet, how many other transplants are there? Is there a Six transplant? A Conoy transplant? (SEE I CAN GET NAMES RIGHT I LEARN THINGS.)

Given the severity of the Cylon threat (and how easy it will be for them to continually infiltrate the Galactica or any ship in the fleet), there’s something unbearably creepy about the smile that Doral gives Commander Adama when he’s chased down. It says so many things at once: You made this easier than I thought. This is better than what I hoped for. Even if I destroy myself and kill no one, it does not matter. There are more of me. I will have successfully disrupted the peace of this fleet.

And I will be back, again and again and again.

It’s during this bombing that Tyrol and Boomer set up an elaborate system where their pilots cover for them so they can continue their relationship. It’s fascinating to me that at the beginning of this episode, even knowing that Boomer is a Cylon, I still feel for these two, and I am happy they are bending the rules in order to see one another. I found it particularly sweet because in this context, they have a “forbidden” love of sorts. Yet by the end of “Litmus,” I now know I can’t watch their first scene of the episode in the same way ever again.

In that sense, “Litmus” is a story about dissolution and destruction, and we are witness to relationships, trust, and faith being torn apart by the Cylons. That’s their ultimate goal with this, right? To sow the seeds of so much distrust that humans destroy themselves? The Cylons play directly off of the worst of humanity, and this is where we see it acted out.

From the revelation to the whole fleet that Cylons look like humans to the appointment of Master-At-Arms Hadrian to lead the public inquiry into the security flaws that allowed a Cylon to get on board, we’re given a very nervous, uncertain tone to “Litmus.” It’s very clear from the start, though, that Hadrian is determined to get to the bottom of the security leak, and that Tyrol is no longer going to be safe from suspicion. Once Cally, Socinus, and Jammer all give conflicting information to Tyrol’s whereabouts, I started feeling nervous. I was certain that if Hadrian could determine that Tyrol’s personnel were lying for him, then there would be a whole lot of trouble. Not only would they discover that he was having a relationship with Boomer, even after being told not to, but it was inevitable that they’d soon figure out that he knew more than he let on about the destruction of the water tanks.

I’m a big fan of the use of dialogue in fiction, but especially in television and film, where its use is integral to forwarding the plot or giving the story urgency. This episode in particular seriously knocks it out of the park with all three of its interrogation scenes. It’s not an easy thing to pull off, either, so it’s fantastic to see both the writing and the acting come together to make me feel electrified.

Boomer’s interrogation in particular is so bizarre because we know who she really is, and now knowing the final scene of the episode, I can’t believe I never thought about how ironic it is that she was there in that room. In that context, Hadrian had a Cylon right in front of her and instead focused entirely on Tyrol as a conspirator. Even considering that, there’s still a part of me that rooted for Boomer to get off the hook, and I found myself confused about such emotions by the end. I mean…she’s a Cylon! But I like her character! I don’t understand how Cylon identity works, especially for a sleeper agent like Boomer. She’s clearly her own person, but….how.

Tyrol, on the other hand, underestimates what the point of these proceedings are and, in hindsight, his arrogance and selfishness as a person shines through. His scene with Hadrian is still intense, though, and it’s uncomfortable to watch as Hadrian continues to connect all of the lies that Tyrol told or were told about him. It seemed for a second that Tyrol had the upper hand when he brought up the fact that several people–including Hadrian–had the access code to the hatchway that was apparently unlocked, but Hadrian then asks if Boomer left the door open on purpose.

The thought is planted, both in Tyrol’s mind and our own, and it’s something I hadn’t even considered. I was so caught up in Boomer’s human side, and the desire to see her happy with Tyrol, that I forgot she was still a Cylon. God, what a confusing character arc. I want to stop myself from splitting Boomer into some sort of dichotomy because this situation is far too complicated for that. But she is a Cylon who is activated remotely to carry out sabotage missions! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO THINK?

To make matters worse, Tyrol cites the 23rd Article of Colonization, which is his right not to self-incriminate. And while that may have held up more solidly in any other situation, we’re at the end of the human race. Cylons are infiltrating the fleet. The destruction of every human every is not only conceivable, it’s imminent. Tyrol, you have the legal right to not self-incriminate, but holy shit you just screwed up. It’s amazing how easily we’re able to see the gravity of this choice, that the faces of the tribunal (and especially Hadrian) are wrought with both frustration and terror. Not only will they not get a confession, but their suspicions for Tyrol are even higher. But they can’t do anything. And that irritates them all because it’s entirely possible that this man’s lies are putting everyone at risk. (Newsflash: They are.)

It’s because of this that Specialist Socinus’s interrogation simply depresses me. As I watched that tragedy unfold, I couldn’t help but get more and more furious at Tyrol for refusing to own up to his mistakes. This poor kid lied for some sense of duty and loyalty to Tyrol, because the man was his friend, and now he’ll probably spend the rest of his days (however numbered they are) in the brig. It made me furious. TYROL WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

Yet as mad as I was at Tyrol, I suddenly found myself unable to stand Hadrian either. When Adama was called into the tribunal, I was shocked. What on EARTH could she need him for? It was at this point that I came to realize just how complex and morally ambiguous this entire episode was. I was angry with Hadrian for insisting that Adama was part of this conspiracy, especially given what Adama had done since the Cylons attacked. It offended me. (And for the record, I agree with both Roslin and Adama, and waiting to reveal the Cylon secret was very, very smart.) Yet I am conflicted. She was right about Tyrol and Boomer, and she was so clearly concerned about the Cylon threat that she got a bit zealous about it. And this is entirely understandable! But taking it all the way to Adama? That was too far, for me, but at the same time, not a single character is right in all of this.

Thankfully, though, Adama provides the proper scorning to Tyrol by the episode’s end: Tyrol’s actions compromised his ability to be a leader, and an innocent kid is locked up. Because Tyrol’s credibility is now shattered, Adama couldn’t help him get Socinus out if he tried. In essence, Adama forces Tyrol to face his guilt and uses it as his best weapon to punish him. Tyrol put Socinus in jail, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. But there is something he can do about the future: break things off with Boomer. The dynamic of this scene is bizarre, and I mean that in a good way. Boomer seems less dejected at Tyrol ending their tryst and more like she’s furious. I don’t know which side of her we’re getting. But it seems to me that she’s upset for losing the one person who has been protecting her this entire time, and nothing makes that more clear than when he flat out asks her if she left the hatchway door open on purpose.

As I said before, the thought was planted in Tyrol’s head, and now he vocalizes it. This scene gives me chills just thinking about it. But now the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak, so I’m curious to see how the Cylon threat from Boomer is going to be developed in the future.


  • Well, things are certainly interesting for Baltar, aren’t they? I loved how he went to go flirt with Starbuck and instead left filled with dread when she suggests that maybe the Cylon Doral was headed to his lab to destroy the Cylon identification test. Which opens up a billion questions: How could the Cylons even know? Is there another Cylon agent on board that we don’t know about? For the first time, Six outright confirms she is in Baltar’s head and has absolutely no connection to the Cylons at all. Is she lying? I’m still confused as to what ultimate purpose she is going to serve.
  • The Cylon story on Caprica is finally starting to come together, and I can’t believe I missed so many of the signs pointing to what they are doing with Helo. It took me a few seconds to register it, but when Six and Doral claimed that Helo didn’t love Boomer, it all made sense. They’re manipulating him to fall in love with Boomer. They’re using him. Oh god, are they going to try to make him procreate with Boomer???? THAT IS LIKE THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES SENSE. Well, it only sort of makes sense. What does a Cylon Human and a human create? 1/3 Cylon, 2/3 human? I DON’T KNOW THESE THINGS.
  • Lee wasn’t in this episode once. Weird!
  • Fuck Orson Scott Card, by the way.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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181 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S01E06 – Litmus

  1. Pseudonymph says:

    You should do a review as Dwight Schrute.

    I actually had the exact same thoughts/feelings toward BSG that were based almost exclusively on Dwight's comments on The Office. That explains why it was so difficult for my boyfriend to convince me to watch it (SO GLAD HE SUCCEEDED).

  2. Ryan Lohner says:

    This episode is the first real misfire IMO. The whole "witch hunt" thing is ridiculously over the top with the Master at Arms going completely mad with power in about twelve hours, plus it's pretty derivative of the Star Trek TNG episode The Drum Head.

    Despite that, there's still a lot of nice bits here. Tyrol and Boomer's relationship scenes are just as gripping as any action sequence, and I particularly love the shot of Helo rolling out from under the Centurion's arm; that is some incredibly realistic CGI there.

    Also, between this and Starbuck's confession two episodes ago, it's now very clear that you NEVER want Edward James Olmos pissed at you. I'm pretty sure I would wet myself if he ever shot me that face in person.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      "you NEVER want Edward James Olmos pissed at you. I'm pretty sure I would wet myself if he ever shot me that face in person."

      I love the scene where he walks up to the guards at the door and stares them right in the face. I mean, he's a good head shorter than any of them but you can still see them visibly recoil. Damn, that guy has one terrifying glare!

    • NB2000 says:

      I'm pretty sure I would wet myself if he ever shot me that face in person.

      That is the power of the Adama Glare. Very few can stand up to it and live to tell the tale.

    • notlefthanded says:

      I hear you. But at the same time, I think there were some reasons for the Master at Arms to do so. There's the shock and terror of discovering that you could AT THIS MOMENT be surrounded by people you trust who are actually plotting to exterminate you and everyone you love; depending on where your family was during the attacks, they may already have done so.

      And unless I'm misunderstanding how things work (entirely possible), isn't the Master at Arms ultimately responsible for the sabotage of the water tanks? How is it possible that during a war, the weapons storage was so poorly administered and guarded that explosives and detonators could go missing? Shouldn't there be regular inventories, so that they could narrow down whose key codes had been entered during the period when supplies disappeared? Maybe part of her intensity in heading the tribunal has to do with finding anybody but herself to blame.

    • John Small Berries says:

      I can't stand it when shows do "witch hunt" or "put a main character on trial" episodes*. Not quite as much as the "device that reads memories and gives us a clip show" episodes or "people are trapped in a holodeck/virtual reality" episodes, but they're a solid #3 in my top three most hated episode plots.

      They're always over the top, and the prosecutors are always thinly disguised versions of Joe McCarthy.

      Well, at least they got it out of the way early.

      * With the exception of the "Justice" episode of Red Dwarf, because at least they made it amusing.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        I…kind of love 'trapped in the holodeck' episodes.

        *hangs head in shame*

        • hpfish13 says:

          Me too! I also love "alternate version of the characters" episodes, if only to see how the actors change their performances.

          We shall be ashamed together!

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            Yay! I love how alternate versions of male characters always have a Beard Of EVIL. My brother-in law grew a little beard recently, and we always tell him that he looks like his own evil twin.

            • hpfish13 says:

              Unless they have an eyepatch! On Classic Who the alternate-Brigadier (who's a real jerk) actually loses his mustache and gains an eyepatch.

              Do you read Order of the Stick? If so, do you know if Nale having a beard is a nod to this trope?

              • enigmaticagentscully says:

                I love OOTS! Clearly we are ~internet soulmates~ Hey, do you have the board game?

                *wildly off topic*

                • hpfish13 says:

                  There's a board game? I did not know this! I love both board games and OotS, so I would probably love the game. I am a bad fan though and haven't even read Start of Darkness or Origin of PC's.

                  • enigmaticagentscully says:

                    Yeah, it's pretty good! It's just your standard dungeon bashing game, like a simplified RPG (which makes sense, under the circumstances) but the mechanics are fun, it's moves along quickly, and it's fun being able to play the different characters, who all have slightly different roles to play. I usually go for Vaarsuvius because V is awesome. 😀

                    IN FACT, as far as the whole 'playing as a specific character with certain strengths and weaknesses' thing goes, it's weirdly similar to the Battlestar Galactica game! Except no Cylon agents, obviously.

          • John Small Berries says:

            Well, those are fun. Also, the obligatory body swap episodes are especially fun when the actors are clearly enjoying mimicking their co-stars' mannerisms.

            • hpfish13 says:

              SG-1's body swap episode is hilarious! It's been so long since I've seen it, but I remember whoever was playing Teal'c in someone else's body was absolutely perfect.

              • kneelb4todd says:

                Jack was in Teal'c …in a strictly swapped-personalities way. Phrasing: awkward. O.o

                Anyway, the body-swap episode wasn't nearly as awesome as the time-loop one. Golf, anyone?

              • enigmaticagentscully says:

                Teal'c acting as Jack and Jack acting as Teal'c was pure gold.
                Also, I love the method they have to use at the end to get back to the right bodies.

                Oh SG1, it has been so long.

                • hpfish13 says:

                  Do you know the name of the body swap episode? Or the one kneelb4todd mentioned above. I just finished season 8 of SG-1 for the first time I and would love to go back and watch those.

              • John Small Berries says:

                That was a good one – but the Farscape take on it had my sides splitting at some points.

            • cait0716 says:

              Always fun. I like Rashoman episodes, too, when the actors are clearly having fun exaggerating themselves a bit. Particularly Scully in Bad Blood and Sam in Tall Tales

              • enigmaticagentscully says:

                Fun fact: Bad Blood was my first ever episode of The X Files! Which is silly really, because I didn't get a lot of the humour because I wasn't familiar with the characters. But it still made me watch the rest. 😛

                "You know, I haven't eaten since six o'clock this morning, and all that was was half of a cream cheese bagel, and it wasn't even real cream cheese – it was light cream cheese! I do it all for you, Mulder!"

                • cait0716 says:

                  It was the first one I saw too! My friend was using my love of vampires to ease me into what I thought was just a silly show

                • hpfish13 says:

                  Please let me know if this comment shows up on your computer. I've posted it 3 times now

                  It's funny how you get started watching a show sometimes.

                  Buffy Spinoff spoilers!

                  Fzvyr Gvzr jnf zl svefg rcvfbqr bs Ohssl be Natry. V qvqa'g xabj jung jnf tbvat ba zbfg bs gur gvzr, ohg V pbhyq abg fgbc ynhtuvat. Zl sevraq fubjrq zr gung rcvfbqr gb pbaivapr zr gung gur fubj jnfa'g tbvat gb or gbb fpnel sbe zr.

            • notemily says:

              Obql fjncf, nygreangr irefvbaf bs punenpgref… PNA VG OR ZNEX JNGPURF OHSSL GVRZ LRG

        • John Small Berries says:

          Well, to each his or her own.

          I just find them boring because they all seem to follow the same basic plot (including all the built-in safety mechanisms somehow failing, the person with the technical skills to disable the simulation being unable to do so, and the resolution coming just in the nick of time before [generic threatening event] happens).

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            Oh, I know they're not objectively the best episodes, I just love them because they're a guilty pleasure. Innocent, cheesy fun. 😛

            <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">


            • John Small Berries says:

              Was that a holodeck one? Huh. All I really remember about that one was the homage to Animal House, and of course, "I protest! I am not a merry man."

              • enigmaticagentscully says:

                Yeah, it's one where Q traps them all in the holodeck just…for the fun of it, I think.
                Actually, maybe it wasn't technically the holodeck? It might have been some kind of alternate reality Q created. I forget.

                • Geolojazz says:

                  Yeah, it was an alternate reality, trying to get Picard to admit that he wasn't really as interested in the girl as he was in the Enterprise and crew.

                  Stop looking at me like that! I just finished the series!

                  …<3Q and <3 Worf SO MUCH.

        • cait0716 says:

          I like those episodes as well. I also had a big crush on Wesley Crusher when I was growing up. I'm pretty much the worst Star Trek fan ever

        • notemily says:

          ME TOO. Doesn't the Sherlock Holmes plot on Star Trek: TNG count as this?

  3. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Ooooooh this episode…I've said it before and I'll say it again – it's just fantastic the way the issues raised in the show are never just black and white. Because of course, Roslin and Adama were right to keep it a secret. But on the other hand…Hadrian has a point too. Same with Boomer and the Chief. Their actions put everyone in danger, but you gotta sympathise with them. And once the whole thing had kicked off, the Chief basically had to lie. What else could he have done? Implicate his girlfriend and himself as Cylon collaborators? But then poor Socinus has to take the fall…AUGH. There's just no way this could have all turned out right once in began.
    Props for Tigh once again in this episode, saving the old man's life! I really like the friendship they have going.

    You know my favourite part of this episode? When Adama and Hadrian give that marine guard different orders. At the end of the day, probably the future of the entire human race comes down to what that once guy decides to do. And he does the right thing. THANK THE GODS.

    • cait0716 says:

      Go Tigh! It's interesting that his initial response is to call security and proceed with caution while Adama just takes off running after the threat. I didn't really expect Tigh to be the level-headed one in the scenario.

      That's my favorite part, too!

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeah, it's kind of funny if you think about it – Tigh totally had the situation under control, and then Adama came busting in, running at the guy with explosives strapped to his chest and all!

        On the other hand, I guess they at least stopped him from getting to Baltar's lab (if that was the intended target.)

    • innocentsmith says:

      And he does the right thing. THANK THE GODS.

      Yeah, but the thing is…does he make that choice for the right reason? I mean, does he obey Adama because he's been carefully weighing the arguments both of them are making and realizes Hadrian is off the rails? Or because Adama is The Old Man, and Hadrian is just some sergeant who's gotten above herself?

      Because I have serious issues with the latter. Adama shouldn't have given her carte blanche authority to begin with – that was a terrible decision – but having done it, slapping her down by virtue of sheer personality and the loyalty of his men is kind of putting himself above the law, and sets a dangerous precedent.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Oh no, I agree with you there, dissolving the Independent Tribunal completely just because he didn't like the way it was going was a VERY dubious move. If you can't handle the results of that kind of thing, you shouldn't start it at all. Which Roslin kind of warned him about, if I recall.
        But I mean I'm just thankful on a superficial level that it all worked out the way it did. Because if Hadrian really did restrain Adama and so forth, it could have led down a very dark road indeed. Best it ended right then and there I think.

      • notemily says:

        I like to think he went "hmm, let's see… which one of these people will make my life a greater hell if I disobey them?"

        Pretty easy choice.

  4. JonT says:

    "â—¦Fuck Orson Scott Card, by the way."

    My sentiments exactly.

    I agree that Tyrol should have come straight out and admitted his affair with Boomer. Sexual transgressions are generally more forgiven (and more evident) to investigating authorities than most people realise. Especially in this case where their relationship, although against regulations did not involve anything like adultery or cheating.

    To lie about sonething like that in the face of an investigation concerning the genocide of the human race was just stupid all around.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I got the impression that if Tyrol had told them about the affair, he would have had to say that Boomer went through the hatch-combing on causeway C, thus implicating her as a Cylon agent. I think that's why he refused to admit where he was, even when things got more serious.

  5. @BklynBruzer says:

    Goddammit I hate when I get reminded of how terrible a person Orson Scott Card is, because Ender's Game is an AMAZING book.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      I mean I read the book before I knew about him. STILL.

      • elusivebreath says:

        So what's the deal with him? People have been telling me to read that book, too. I guess I could just google this lol.

        • Meenalives says:

          He is horrifically homophobic, beyond even the bounds of normal (public) homophobia. He publicly advocates criminalizing homosexuality. On the other hand, Ender's Game really is an amazing book, without anything homophobic, and with some messages about violence and the nature of humanity that I actually found very inspiring. If you find yourself generally able to disconnect the author from the work then I would definitely advocate reading it.

          • elusivebreath says:

            O.o Wow, I don't understand people like that at all. Usually, I am pretty good at disassociating the author from the book itself, but I'll get it from the library or something because I'm certainly not giving him any of my money.

          • notemily says:

            "without anything homophobic" I beg to differ. So much.

            • Meenalives says:

              It's been a while since I read it, so I probably missed something. I remember the sequels pissing me off, but I don't recall anything objectionable in Ender's Game.

              • notemily says:

                Damn, I can't remember any specifics now. I read it a long time ago and I just remember being like "THIS is the book everyone thinks is genius?" It left a bad taste in my mouth.

              • notemily says:

                I keep thinking there was a scene where Ender and someone else were teasing each other by using anti-gay slurs. But I can't find that anywhere. Maybe I'm just getting it confused with the racism.

          • cait0716 says:

            I'm always interested when people find Ender's Game inspiring. It made me feel like there was no such thing as free will. The grown ups manipulated Ender so completely that he really didn't have a choice in anything he did. At least, that how I read it. From what I can tell other people didn't read it that way.

            • Meenalives says:

              No, I agree about the lack of free will, and inspiring was really not the right word. Given how badly the adults' manipulation turned out, and how anti-violence the book is as a whole (at least the way I see it) I still think it's interesting.

              • cait0716 says:

                Ok. It definitely was a good book, with a bunch of interesting ideas. I think I liked Ender's Shadow better, that one was a bit more inspiring to me because he figured out the system

            • evocativecomma says:

              Ender's Game is very close to the top of my list of "Most Overrated Books in the History of People Assigning Ratings to Books." I do *not* feel the love.

              • May I sit with you? I found it thinly characterized and plotted, lacking emotional resonance, and in possession of a predictable twist ending that I cared nothing about because of the first two things in this list. Yawn.

    • notemily says:

      Yeah… I read it, and I had trouble getting past the racism, homophobia, and "intent: it's magic!" bullshit sprinkled all over the place. Maybe if I hadn't known anything about OSC before reading it, I would have liked it better.

    • hassibah says:

      I have never read this guy's stuff but this is how I feel about Roald Dahl (though thankfully his doucheyness isn't really apparent in his actual writing.)

  6. Kaci says:

    This episode did a lot of things to me emotionally. I hit every emotion on the entire sliding scale when it came to Tyrol in particular. I loved him, I strongly disliked him, I was angry at him, I cheered for him, and I quite nearly cried during the scene where he breaks things off with Boomer. BSG, Y U BE SO AWESOME AND MAKE ME FEEL SO MANY CONFLICTING EMOTIONS?

    Also, I stopped watching The Office during like, season 4 or something, but I actually just snorted water up my nose imagining Dwight on this show. The idea of him and Adama meeting is like…officially my new favorite go-to headspace when I need to laugh.

  7. monkeybutter says:

    Fuck Orson Scott Card, by the way.

    lol you made my day.

    I loved watching Adama chew out Tyrol. I like him and all, but he screwed up, and if the thing that's going to allow humanity to survive is cooperation and trust, then Tyrol needs to think about how his actions affect everyone else. It's the same as locking up Hadrian because her tribunal was threatening to bring down the entire structure of their military and leave them weakened, rather than make them stronger by identifying their security lapses. The whole McCarthyism and civil liberties thing was a bit blunt, but it was bound to happen once everyone found out about the Cylons. Might as well deal with is swiftly, and know that there's going to be background anxiety about Cylons in their midst.

    And ha, I was sort of right about Helo!

  8. Karen says:

    Honestly? This was not my favorite episode. It just seemed a little bit too heavy handed. Like, WE GET IT. Tribunals and investigations without oversight and checks are bad. Idk. And I think I was just distracted by my frustration over the fact that at some point pretty early on in these proceedings Tyrol and Boomer should have figured out that admitting their relationship and coming clean about that was WAY BETTER THAN BEING SUSPECTED OF BEING A CYLON.

    WTF? The fact that they spent so long covering it up and ended up getting all those deckhands involved was just ridiculous. Once it became clear that the tribunal was Cylon hunting, they should have just fessed up and explained what had happened that night. But because they kept hiding their relationship, the poor deckhand got in trouble. UGH.

    The part of this episode that I DID like is the Caprica stuff. HELO!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 I would climb him like a tree.

    • redheadedgirl says:

      I think it's one of those situations where you start lying for wahtever reason, and then there's a bigger lie to cover up the first lie, and then all of the sudden all the shit goes downhill towards the fan and you're like COMMITTED and even though, intellectually you KNOW it would be easier to admit the truth, the enormity is such that you can't quite bring yourself to like, DO THE RIGHT THING until someone forces you to and then your dad is like "wouldn't it have been easier to not lie in the first place?" and you're like, "but the truth would have gotten me into trouble!" and he's like "well now you are in MORE TROUBLE" and you're grounded until they get bored with you rattling around the house all the time.


      Not that I'm speaking from my misspent youth or anything.

    • tanbarkie says:

      Keep in mind that this episode was made in 2004, when the Iraq War was less than a year old and the words "Abu Ghraib" meant a mispelling of something Aladdin's monkey does. It's only heavy-handed in retrospect, precisely because the issues it raised ended up being SO FUCKING REAL, in ways that nobody in 2004 thought possible.

      • Crackers says:

        Seriously. I think people forget this way too often, but BSG LOVES its grey areas, and – more importantly – IT DOES THEM WELL.

        This shit was powerful in 2004, and it's powerful – and occasionally difficult to watch because of that – even now.

    • hassibah says:

      "Tyrol and Boomer should have figured out that admitting their relationship and coming clean about that was WAY BETTER THAN BEING SUSPECTED OF BEING A CYLON"

      Yesss, WTF?

  9. enigmaticagentscully says:

    On a random note, is this the first time we see Adama working on his little model ship? Because I've always loved the idea that the Colonials had wooden sailing ships in the past, just like we did.

  10. cait0716 says:

    So much to say. In no particular order:

    1) Six is terrifying. She's so gleeful when she beats up Sharon on Caprica. And then when she chokes Baltar. It's weird because it's not really the same character, but it sort of is. Maybe this trait is just inherent to this particular Cylon model

    2) Love when Tyrol decides to teach them to make alcohol.

    3) Baltar hitting on Starbuck and Starbuck just blowing him off is the best. I also like Six's look as they leave. Could she be jealous?

    4) I didn't really notice him until this episode, but when Crashdown was up in the Sergeant's face, all I could think was that he had a vampire brow. Sure enough, he plays the vampire on Being Human (US). Why do so many vampires in pop culture have that look?

    5) I really like Tyrol's breakup speech to Boomer. Some things are just more important. It's heartbreaking, but inevitable. And I'm glad they didn't drag it out.

    6) I love that Adama gives the soldier his orders and then leaves it up to him which orders to follow at the end of his interrogation. I don't know whether he's banking on the soldier being on his side through sheer military loyalty or because he does support him intellectually, but I love it.

    • cait0716 says:

      Forgot one.

      7) So Tyrol specifically waived his right in remain slient at the beginning of the interrogation, which I hadn't noticed before. When I watched previously, I always thought it was weird that his invoking the 23rd was seen as an admission of guilt because that's so un-American. Also strange that it's their 23rd amendment where it's our 5th. I guess their culture just sees the whole thing a bit differently.

      • monkeybutter says:

        That's an interesting point about 23rd vs 5th. But maybe the earlier articles are about the establishment and operation of government, and then the articles limiting its power come later, which isn't all that unlike the articles of the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and other amendments. I also thought it was odd that invoking the 23rd was seen as an admission of guilt, but pleading the fifth does make people doubtful, even if it's not allowed to be considered as evidence of guilt. And since this is a tribunal and not a normal court, maybe there are different rules of evidence? Or the burden of proof is shifted to the accused?

      • redheadedgirl says:

        In the UK, juries are allowed to infer guilt from a defendant's refusal to testify on his.her own behalf. (US juries aren't supposed to, but, well, humans are still humans.)

        I would be really itnerested in seeing how the Articles of Colonization are set up. 23rd might be "here is the section in which we put the criminal justice related stuff"- we don't know at this point the history of the colonies or how their government came to be or if they were just working down the "list of shit we have to get through to make this a functional government." In the Minnesota or Massachusetts constitution (I don't remember whether I learned this in undergrad or grad school), the Bill of Rights type rights are first, front in center, not sort of tacked on as an afterthought like the Bill of Rights appear to be (I know they're really not). I was told that this was because the state (I'm thinking it's Mass, I'm hearing Prof. Bresler's voice in my head explaining it) thought the rights of the accused were super important- I wonder if it's really because we had a fucntional idea of a government as a colony and didn't need to build the entire thing from scratch.

        • virtual_monster says:

          The inference of guilt permitted in UK is pretty much stated in the caution which must be given by police whenever someone is arrested (and is more-or-less equivalent to US Miranda rights):

          "You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."

    • notemily says:

      Ha, when I first watched Being Human, I was like "that guy looks familiar… oh hey, it's Crashdown! I didn't recognize him with hair!"

      Sam Huntington is my favorite from that show though. And my favorite from basically anything. I likes him.

      • cait0716 says:

        I only made it through a few episodes. The werewolf was definitely the best of the bunch though. He was whiny but the other two managed to be more whiny. I had high hopes for that show and they were not met.

        • notemily says:

          Yeah, I stopped watching after a few episodes too. But that one scene of Sam Huntington in a dress walking along to "Weighty Ghost" was pretty amazing.

          I hear the British version is better.

    • Noybusiness says:

      He played a "vampire" in Dark Angel too.

  11. psycicflower says:

    Another episode where I want to shout ‘JUST TELL SOMEONE’ at Chief and Boomer. And the deck crew. How is sneaking off for sex going to get you into more trouble than Cylon conspirator?

    Accountability versus a witch hunt. Frankly, the whole thing is a disaster in this episode. Obviously, yes witch hunts are terrible and it quickly becomes evident that that’s what’s going on here, but people do need to be held accountable for their actions. Chief is by Adama laying on the guilt. I dunno, just because an enquiry went bad doesn’t mean they’re all bad.

    (Off on a tangent here but Adama’s model ship! Aside from being so pretty, I’ve done conservation work on model ships and it takes a lot of time and patience but I can’t imagine the amount it takes to actually build one.)

  12. Ryan Lohner says:

    The scene where Roslin reveals the truth is also a reminder that besides Baltar, no one knows about Six yet. And Boomer of course, but the thing about Six is easier to forget since we see so much of her.

    Ron Moore's insistence on realism can easily be seen in how Starbuck's leg is still messed up from the last episode. No miraculous recoveries from severe injuries on this show!

  13. NB2000 says:

    Someone totally needs to put together a BSG cover like those fantasy ones.

    Lee wasn’t in this episode once. Weird!

    I…hadn't noticed that. Very little of Starbuck as well. I guess this was an episode off for some of the leads, which means secondary characters get a turn in the spotlight, yay!

    Biggest spotlight on the deck gang, all of whom are awesome. Except Jammer, he can kindly shut the frak up with all that "Every man for himself talk". Their loyalty to Tyrol is shown effectively, even if it is misguided (poor Socinus). Since we've started watching this it's struck me that Tyrol and the deck gang are sort of a smaller scale version of Bill and the entire Galactica crew. Tyrol refers to the gang as his "kids" and we know Bill cares a lot about the crew (particulalry Lee and Kara for obvious reasons), he can refer to Socinus by name when Laura asks about his arrest and noticeably upset by this whole situation.

    "Do you think that's where he was heading?" Well NOW he does Kara, thanks for that. The shot of Gaius walking through the hall with Six where she disappears and he's left holding his hand out in thin air and talking to himself as people go past, we actually get a quick glimpse of just how strange he must look to the rest of the crew.

    • notemily says:

      That's one of the things I love about this show, is it truly is an ensemble cast. There are main characters, but they don't dominate the screen time. So many characters get a chance to shine.

  14. hpfish13 says:

    I think I watched this episode shortly after seeing the movie version of The Crucible with Winona Ryder. I think it caused me do view this whole episode through an interesting lens. I was worried about the concept of the independent tribunal from the start and I really hated Hadrian throughout. As a result, I ended up taking everyone being interrogated's side, even when they were in the wrong.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Urg, I hate 'The Crucible'. We did the play in school and now it always reminds me of a discussion/argument we ended up having about religion, which got very nasty. It's shame, because that was a pretty good movie.

  15. enigmaticagentscully says:

    By the way, I find it kind of funny that Adama is all 'yeah, let's tell the fleet about the human-looking Cylons!' and poor Roslin is the one who has to deal with the press.
    I guess being President has it's downside.

  16. Ryan Lohner says:

    Oh, and the beginning of the episode reminds me: Mark, I assume you're still getting these episodes from Itunes, and I don't know if they include the "previously on" sequences, but if they do you're better off skipping them from now on. They almost always contain spoilers for the episode, as they make it obvious which of the constantly growing number of storylines will be focused on. Though that's still better than later on, when they started putting DELETED SCENES in there.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I re-watched Battlestar Galactica a while ago, and I thought I was going mad…I kept seeing things in the 'previously on' sections that I swear never happened. Not big stuff, but just lines and scenes that were different to what I remembered.
      I just assumed I hadn't been paying good enough attention. Now I know they threw deleted scenes in there! That's actually a load of my mind, because that really bothered me for a while!


      • Sean Murphy says:

        Oh gods the deleted scenes as “previously on”s in this show is ridiculous. There is a reason they ended up being nicknamed “PreviousLIES!”

        (next paragraph vaguely describes the future but nothing specific, I've encoded it so i hope this is within the rules as I understand them, apologies if I’m wrong)

        Ubarfgyl! Vs vg vf fb vzcbegnag qba'g oybbql phg gur qnza guvat. V fjrne fbzrgvzrf vg srryf nf vs lbh unir gb xabj jung vfa’g pnaba gb sbyybj gur pnaba pbf gurl phg fbzrguvat vzcbegnag. Zbfg bs gur frpbaq unys bs frnfba 2 naq 3 znxr SNE zber frafr jura lbh xabj jung jnf phg bhg.

    • notemily says:

      Mark doesn't seem to be watching the previouslies, since he was surprised when Doral showed up in this episode. The previouslies basically scream "DORAL IS COMING BACK!!!"

  17. clodia_risa says:

    BTW, the David Weber Honor Harrington book is quite good. Good characters and plot. I skip the technical stuff. I will admit the cover is slightly ridiculous. But I do recommend the book. It’s even a bit harder scifi than BSG.

    • hoodd1 says:

      I'm with you on that one, Clodia. I <3 Honor Harrington, and re-read this book/series regularly. I enjoy the technical bits, but after the first read I end up skimming the political sections.

    • Weston says:

      Wholeheartedly agreed. It's definitely not a ridiculous fantasy book. The cover is… let's say that it does have some movie poster elements to it. But the sciencey goodness in the books is fantastic.

      Y'know, Weber has a series in a similar vein to Battlestar Galactica. Starts with Off Armageddon Reef, involves… ah… let's say a similar opening scenario and a vastly different follow-through.

  18. redheadedgirl says:

    The take-away lesson from this episode is: If you need to gather a gang of people so you can secretly go bang your significant other (Cylon or not, it works in all permutations, I'm not judging), make sure you all agree on the SAME COVER STORY.


    (Also, I fucking LOVED Azure Bonds. And The Wyvren's Spur was a greta time. The third book in that trilogy.. Vale something? Not so good. But Azure Bonds rocked my little 13 year old world.)

  19. John Small Berries says:

    "In my head, Battlestar Galactica was far less sci-fi, and more a fantasy: ridiculously detailed, with a complicated mythology, with characters speaking in a self-important tone, and, most importantly, none of it contained a shred of realism."

    Well, sure. That's the original Battlestar Galactica.

    • tanbarkie says:

      Ah yes, the series in which the survivors of humanity, whose entire civilization was just destroyed in a stunning interplanetary holocaust, and who remain on the run from a supposedly implacable foe, decide that the two most important things in the world are replacing a kid's pet dog with a robot and visiting a casino planet.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:


        • elusivebreath says:

          I think we might need at least a few Mark Watches of the old BSG. Maybe a liveblog??

          • John Small Berries says:

            That would be a hoot. Very different tone, extremely different takes on the characters that they have in common, and I don't think there's anything in the first nine episodes that would spoil the reimagined series at all (the tenth and subsequent would be okay to watch after the second season).

            Unless, of course, Mark is allergic to dairy products, because there's quite a bit of 1970s cheese.

        • evocativecomma says:

          Dude, I *told* you about the capes and the athletic diapers!

      • PeanutK says:

        I'm intrigued, and very confused.

      • John Small Berries says:

        And who did not have faster-than-light travel, if I recall correctly, yet still managed to visit a new planet almost every week.

    • To be fair, they did have fantastic capes.

  20. shoroko says:

    I can get why some people don't like this episode, but I actually don't think it was over the top in terms of what happened with the investigation. It showed what happens when the procedures are ignored and "legalities" are swept aside. Yes, Tyrol was lying – but the process itself was fucked up in a lot of ways. Part of that was Adama's fault – he shouldn't have had someone like Hadrian, who would (as Tyrol pointed out) clearly have an interest in doing everything in her power to exculpate herself, lead the investigation. It made no sense for the person responsible for weapons security to be the one hunting down her own scapegoat. That would be the one part I'd say is over the top, though not actually unbelievable for me, given that it's essentially what cops and prosecutors are sometimes charged to do – find someone to blame, because the public will be upset if we don't.

    The procedure was just also in itself flawed in a lot of ways. It was unacceptable that witnesses didn't have their own access to counsel or someone to advocate for them before the tribunal. What happened to Socinus happened because he didn't have anyone to speak the legal language for him. Tyrol also faced a similar situation when Hadrian outright lied about the right to not self-incriminate (Adama notes later that under the Colonial system – like in the U.S. – taking the right to not self-incriminate cannot be taken as an indication of guilt) – these weren't just witnesses, these were suspects being interrogated, and it's not okay to do that without giving them some method of defense. It may be the end of civilization, but if you're going to have a system of prosecution, you have to have an equally adequate system of defense.

    Which of course, has never been the case in our world, even when we're not facing the end of civilization. So it's hard for me to call it over the top. Adama is of course also right that it's not okay to lie under oath (though I'm not sure Hadrian just talking to the deck crew on the hanger should be considered a "sworn statement," but that's… more complicated than I want to get into) – doing so also spoils the system. But the point is, everyone – Hadrian, Tyrol, the deck crew, etc. – held their own agendas over the effort to find truth and exact justice. Which, again, is totally realistic.

    … and yeah, I'm a law student. So that whole thing really caught up with me watching it this time.

    • cait0716 says:

      I agree. Given that this show is essentially a response to 9/11 and some of the things that have actually happened since then, it didn't seem too farfetched that something like this would happen.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I completely agree. I think perhaps the only unrealistic thing was how short a time it took to get to that point – I would have liked it to take place over several days, and it actually kind of threw me off when Tyrol asked Boomer if she had left the hatch-combing open 'last night'.
      But yeah, I can see it all happening. As Roslin said, these people are scared, and looking for someone to blame. And I get the impression Hadrian was more than a little pissed off that she wasn't told about the human-esque Cylons. I think not being in the loop made her more determined to prove that Adama had screwed up by not telling her.

    • redheadedgirl says:

      Adequate defense. Heh. I seriously want to see the rules of criminal procedure in the colonies. Is that weird?

      (Also a law student, want to be a PD when I grow up. Good lord. There's tribunals and there's tribunals, and when we have tribunals in places like those that start with G and end in itmo, and there are people calling the lawyers who defend suspected terrorist by trying to make the government demonstrate SOME standard of proof terrorists themselves (that was a super complicated clause) and it drives me up the frickin' wall. Rawrg.)

  21. karate0kat says:

    Favorite little moment of the episode – when Baltar goes to visit Starbuck, she clicks the button to give herself more yummy yummy pain meds. Hee!

    Also, side note, every time I see Hadrian I think she's played by Michelle Forbes, which she is not, and it is so distracting to me, because I love Michelle Forbes, and every time I watch season one I'm like HI MICHELLE! OH WAIT…DAMMIT.

    I start out this episode feeling so bad for Tyrol and Boomer. I get it, protocol, military rules, blah blah blah. But it's the end of the world and Roslin's like 'GO FORTH AND MAKE BABIES' but Tyrol and Boomer are just shit out of luck. Like, when your entire civilization is destroyed, things like worrying about dating a coworker just seem stupid, but for the military those rules become even more important because their jobs are now their entire lives and also every single other human left alive is depending on them. PRESSURE.

    But by the end…yeah. Just – both of them really screwed the pooch. Or Socinus, as it turned out. Again, it's that self preservation instinct. Tyrol and Boomer don't want to get caught bumping uglies so they lie. At first it probably didn't seem like a big deal. They know they didn't have anything to do with it (so they think) so really, what's the big deal? But it gets out of control, and fast. And suddenly everybody is pretty much collectively screwed.

    Roslin's right. It led to a witch hunt. I think it's emotionally confusing to view because we know that that term is a bad thing, and we know it's an accurate description of what's happening, and yet it's absolutely understandable for these people to feel this way so you can't really label them as mindless extremists hell bent on their own personal moral agendas (as you might with traditional witch hunts). The Cylons are real. They really do look like us. And they really, really do want humans dead. Finding out who the other Cylons are is vital to the survival of the human race. And getting it done quickly may mean the difference between a chance to start over somewhere (free from the Cylons if they can get them out of the fleet and lose the Cylons for good), or extinction. Even when Hadrian pulls Adama into it and you know she's gone too far, still…if your life depended on identifying Cylons, would you want someone who was too afraid to question if your leaders might be a threat? What if someone at the top is a danger to the fleet. Part of the tension, for me, is that line – humanity needs leadership right now more than anything, and yet if they just blindly follow said leadership, they risk disaster because they don't know who might betray them at any point.

    I'm really curious, people who haven't watched this show before, do you have any theories about the other Cylons? People you think might be revealed as such? Assuming they're all people we haven't seen yet? Want more revealed now? Want the tension drawn out longer? Having started this show while it was still airing, and not being afraid of spoilers, I missed out on some of this earlier intrigue, and I'm so curious how others view it.

    And finally, on another note completely, I just want to say thank you to Mark. I don't want to make this into a drama thing, but I've been having some issues lately, and this blog has been so wonderful. I always laugh and smile. And I really, really need that these days.

  22. HungryLikeLupin says:

    I’m also used to shows giving a strong pilot (at least shows I dedicate myself to watching) and then settling in for a lot of character growth and exposition. It’s not that Battlestar Galactica isn’t doing that (it is), but….seriously. We’re on the sixth episode, and all of them so far are incredibly tense and action-packed. They’re still intense, they’re still deeply tied to the main mythology and plot of the story, and now the entire Cylon plot has been blown wide open.

    That right there is exactly why I've never been able to make it past the second season of this show. 😆 It's not that it's bad–far from it, I think what I've seen is some of the best television has to offer. But it's so intense, so draining because it never lets up. It's a very hard show to watch, because it demands so much of the viewer.

    I was actually just finishing up my rewatch of this episode when the review went up, and I have to say that my absolute favorite line of the episode went to Adama:

    You've lost your way, Sergeant. You've lost sight of the purpose of the law: to protect it citizens, not persecute them. Whatever we are, whatever's left of us, we're better than that.

    Adama. <3 <3 <3 <3

    Also, I'd like to take a moment for how, despite how tense they are, Baltar's scenes with Six are downright hilarious when you consider what they must look like to those observing them, like the guard in the corridor. I wonder, actually, if they ran the scene twice, once with Tricia Halpern and once without. If so, I want to see the B-roll, because I'm pretty sure it would be the best thing ever.

    Out of curiosity, because I don't know how iTunes works with these things (technology, man, you are a mystery to me), are you going to be watching deleted scenes, as well? Are they even available when you download the episodes? I'm generally of two minds concerning deleted scenes, and I'm curious to know how they might fit in with this style of review.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I like the idea that Adama's line might be something his dad told him once that stuck in his head.

      Also, I find it interesting that his father was a lawyer; it reminds me of that line in 'Bastille Day' when he tells Lee 'you sound like some kind of a lawyer' as if it's a bad thing.

      • HungryLikeLupin says:

        Ooh, I hadn't even made that connection! You're right, it does cast that line of his to Lee in a new light.

        I never actually got into Caprica, though it's on my list; all I know is that it's a prequel series. Do you know if Adama is in that as a young man or anything, or if it's set before his time? If the character shows up there as well, it might provide further clues. I wonder now though how similar Adama's relationship with his father is to Lee's relationship with Adama. Is it possible that Granddaddy Adama wanted his son to go into law the way Commander Adama seems to have wanted his own sons to go into the military? THIS JUST RAISES EVEN MORE QUESTIONS! I love that about this show. ^_^

    • notemily says:

      V yvxr ubj ur'f onfvpnyyl dhbgvat uvf sngure gurer, rira gubhtu jr svaq bhg yngre gurl jrera'g ba gur orfg bs grezf.

  23. Same here. I'd completely forgotten this episode existed until I put the disc in the tray last night. "Oh, yeah, 'Litmus.' What was that one about, again?"

  24. hpfish13 says:

    "Even considering that, there’s still a part of me that rooted for Boomer to get off the hook, and I found myself confused about such emotions by the end. I mean…she’s a Cylon! But I like her character! I don’t understand how Cylon identity works, especially for a sleeper agent like Boomer. She’s clearly her own person, but….how."

    I tended to view Boomer in the same way you view a character who doesn't know they are programmed to be an assassin. I tended to feel bad for her more than I was scared of her or upset with her.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Mmm, same here. I mean, I assume the point of Boomer's character really was to make you wonder 'what if it happened to me?' It's pretty well done how we can sympathise with her and still be worried about what she might do at the same time.

      • akacj18 says:

        yeah she's just so darn likeable, it's hard to get down on her for blowing the water tanks or accidentally on purpose letting in doral. she thinks she's human, she doesn't know what she's doing. OMG she's like Ginny Weasley in HP: CoS! except Ginny wasn't actually bad guy…

        • Crackers says:

          Well, similar situations really – neither of them WANTS to be the bad guy, but they end up doing what the bad guys want while completely unaware of it.

  25. chikzdigmohawkz says:

    I don’t understand how Cylon identity works, especially for a sleeper agent like Boomer. She’s clearly her own person, but….how.

    Well, I’d say that it’s the experiences that influence the identity. The models’ basic characteristics are still evident (i.e. arrogance, tendency towards emotion over logic), but they might be more pronounced in some than in others. I mean, say they start out with 10 clones. As soon as each clone is put in a different situation, those experiences are going to impact their identities/personalities. And then if each of those are resurrected into multiple bodies, it continues.

    So out of the Eights so far (which is Boomer’s Cylon model number), we’ve got GalacticaBoomer and CapricaBoomer. Since GalacticaBoomer spent most of her life absolutely convinced that she is human, that belief has impacted her model’s basic identity. CapricaBoomer is completely aware that she’s a Cylon, so even though she’s got some of Boomer’s memories (however they managed that), her identity has been impacted by those particular circumstances. And then add in the stuff that’s happened since the Cylon attacks, and those identities have diverged even more.

    I hope that made sense.

  26. innocentsmith says:

    I liked this episode on my first time through the series, but upon rewatch the main plot doesn't wear as well. I think, as other people have said, that the witchhunt aspect of things happens too fast, and other shows have done the same story better. Also, there's some really clunky and obvious dialogue – it's mostly saved by good direction and good acting, but some of the lines on their own are just…yeah. Especially the crowd reactions to the reveal about the Cylons.

    Regarding Boomer's upset at Tyrol: I don't know, I think it's understandable from her point of view? Here she is desperately scrambling to cling to her own sanity and sense of identity; she's in a situation where if the thing she fears about herself is true, not only will she be interrogated and killed if she's found out, but she herself believes that would be right because she wouldn't even be a human being, but a thing responsible for the murder of humanity. So she's miles deep in denial and hidden panic. And then the man she loves (and I think she genuinely loves him), who she's been relying on both to cover her mistakes and to give her something good in her life, goes and dumps her. First with no explanation, and then, when she insists on one, by throwing all of his anger about the situation (and his guilt and shame about how he acted) in her face. And getting damn near her worst fears in the process. It's maybe a selfish reaction? But we've seen Baltar being about 5000% more selfish for similar but lesser reasons. So yeah, I feel bad for her.

    Meanwhile, I really love the Caprica plot this episode. Oh Helo, you are so lovely. And the shots of the Cylons standing on rooftops like angels in "Wings of Desire," watching fearlessly and patiently and passing judgement, are so creepy and evocative.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Yeah, it's hard not to feel sorry for Boomer in that last scene with the two of them. Especially since there's a part where I'm sure Tyrol was going to say 'YOU are not worth that', but he changes it to 'WE are not worth that'. It softens the blow, but I think Boomer picked up on the implication and that must have really hurt. Especially since she obviously did think that their relationship was worth any cost.

    • lyvanna says:

      Favourite part of the episode for me is the Cylons staring down at Helo and talking about how hot he is.

    • notemily says:

      I totally agree with your paragraph about Boomer, especially the part where Tyrol is taking HIS guilt out on her.

  27. NopeJustMe says:

    I did not like Hadrian at all. I didn't mind her in the beginning, I didn't even particularly worry about Tyrol and Boomer. It wasn't just that she was on the slippery slope to abusing her power (Adama, really? Who do you think you are?) it was because she so obviously enjoyed it. Every tilt of her head and curl of her lip; she enjoyed looking down on her superiors and making them squirm. That made the entire system inefficient as they were focusing on hunting people, not helping them. The look on her face in the beginning when someone reminded her to call her betters 'sir' summed up that flaw in her character.

  28. LittleCaity says:

    Ahahahahaa, I own Azure Bonds. It is SO BAD. XD

  29. notemily says:

    Okay, how did those guys get burned to a crisp but Tigh and Adama were barely singed? Whatever.

    Hadrian, I don't like you. I recognize that people who are given unlimited power often do shitty things with it, and there are studies, and stuff. Still don't like you.

    At least they know they were right now, and leaving that dude on a random planet wasn't a mistake.

    I like the idea that there's a Doral on every single ship in the fleet and nobody has any idea, hee. But there's a really simple solution that doesn't involve everyone becoming suspicious of everybody else: circulate photos of Doral to everyone in the fleet saying he's a wanted criminal. You don't have to tell everyone he's a Cylon.

    "I owe you one." "Sir." BROMANCE

    The scene where the Chief offers to show them how to make better… whatever it is they're making: Best Chief ever, y/y.

    Socinus takes the fall 🙁

    DUDE CHIEF IS NOT A CYLON COLLABORATOR, HE JUST WANTED TO HAVE SOME SEXYTIEMS WITH HIS LADEH. Or I guess that's kind of the same thing, but he doesn't know that.

    The "night" scenes on Caprica are so obviously (to me) filmed in the daytime and made to look like night, and it looks so fake. There's a similar shot in Lord of the Rings and I'm just like "Really?"

    Six just outed herself as the Hulk? Okay.

    Adama wins at everything. As usual. "Make your choice, son" is one of my favorite lines. He's just like "here are the options, it's up to you."

    And really, he's right that Hadrian is just speculating at that point. Maybe if they HAD told everyone about the Cylons looking human, yeah, they would have had different security features in place, but maybe some other horrible shit would have happened. You're in a horrible situation! There is no perfect choice. And there's no going back and asking "what if."

    Model ship!

    I love this last scene with Adama and Tyrol. It shows that he knows more than he's letting on, but that he's made a hard decision for the good of the fleet. He needs his Chief to continue being Chief, even if he did something wrong. He knows the whole situation sucks, but there's not much he can do about it.

    Although I hate the "because you couldn't keep your fly zipped" line. I hate when people act like love isn't important or is "just sex" and people don't need it. I mean, if he was just there with Boomer because he wanted to bang a hot pilot, whatever, but they had an actual relationship, and people risk a lot for relationships. Adama of all people should know that :/

    That ending is INTENSE man. o_o I feel bad for Sharon. Even if she suspects she's a Cylon, she doesn't KNOW, and she certainly doesn't WANT to be one. Having someone you loved and trusted ask you straight out if you're collaborating with Cylons has got to be an awful feeling.

    Fuck Orson Scott Card, by the way.


  30. akacj18 says:

    am i the only one who calls him leoben? instead of conoy?

    in your first or second review you said you WANTED MOAR BOOMER and by golly, that's exactly what i thought when i first watched it. and then BOOM she's a cylon!! OBVS gonna be more boomer. YESSSSSS!!!

  31. Crackers says:

    I'm not surprised you thought BSG was ridiculous before you went at it, Mark – the ORIGINAL 1978 version is one of the cheesiest, most hackneyed sci-fi shows ever. Complete with a stupid little robotic dog and some godawful suede uniforms and feathered hair for the original Apollo and dude-Starbuck.

    The 2003 version, though… is a completely different kettle of fish. I'm so, so happy for you, getting to discover it when you're completely new to it. It's some of the best TV of the last ten years, and criminally underrated despite the massive amounts of critical acclaim it already has.

  32. hassibah says:

    I really don't like it when tv shows try to be topical and force commentary on issues going on at the time and this isn't an exception. (Weirdly enough though a certain season of the Wire that's supposedly a commentary on war is my favourite. I have no idea what the fuck they were trying to say, but it was a good season.)

    First: WHY ON EARTH would you make up a location for somebody when you haven't gotten your stories straight with them first?

    Second: does it really matter who gets thrown in the brig they're just going to be forced to pull them out and put them to work again the next time like half the crew gets killed off, which should be next Tuesday.

    Third: why is it automatically assumed they are spies and not simply that mistakes are made?

    So I don't know what I'm supposed to get out of this: Whistleblowers are bitter mediocre officers and fifth columns that want to take over? Power should go unchecked and without accountability as long as that government is run by someone who I like a lot?


  33. StatSig says:

    This was a decent episode, but I second the sentiment that I felt like the rate at which the tribunals got out of control was a bit heavy-handed. It just didn't quite flow for me, it was very sudden "Hahaha I am tyrranical Hadrian NO ONE SHALL ESCAPE MY WRATH" for me. But the Tyrol/Boomer relationship drama was heartwrenching.

    I found Boomer's fury at the breakup interesting. I think part of it was heartbreak, but I think at this point she pretty much knows (even if she's in denial) that she's a Cylon, and I think she sees the breakup as… discriminatory? I'm not sure that's quite the right word, it isn't weighted correctly for the situation. But I feel like her anger is as much about "Oh, so now you think I'm a dirty Cylon and don't deserve you anymore?!" as it is about "Oh noes but I love you."

  34. Geolojazz says:

    "…It took me a few seconds to register it, but when Six and Doral claimed that Helo didn’t love Boomer, it all made sense. They’re manipulating him to fall in love with Boomer. They’re using him. Oh god, are they going to try to make him procreate with Boomer????"


  35. Crackers says:

    Side note: I love how Starbuck pushes the button for MORE PAIN MEDS when the good Doctor shows up at her bedside.

  36. ella says:

    First time commenting here, but I had to point out one of my favourite things about watching BSG- location spotting. Helo's choosing to go north or south:
    <img src="; width="500" height="283" alt="BSG screencap">
    Same graffiti wall 6 years later, it's time to take my wedding photos:
    <img src="; width="500" height="333" alt="Wedding pic">

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