In the third episode of the third season of Battlestar Galactica, the Cylons ramp up their severity of their treatment of the humans while Adama works out a way to rescue the survivors on New Caprica. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.
[Note: This review is up early on purpose. I’m posting my review of last week’s FringeÂ premiere as well and didn’t want to have two posts up in the late afternoon/evening for some folks. Enjoy the double postage!!!–Mark]
Okay, let me get the complaint out of the way: Um, didn’t Cally fall down a hill in “Precipice”? How could she run towards Tyrol all of a sudden? OMG CONTINUITY ERROR WORST SHOW OF ALL TIME. Also, it is taking every ounce of my heart not to type Tyrol’s name as “Tyrion.” Tyrol would make a terrible Lannister, by the way.
All right. I’ve gotten that out of the way. It’s out of my system.
HHHHHNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG OH MY GOD THIS SHOW. HOW DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS TO ME.
Let’s separate this into the main themes and character growth we’re subjected to:
Colonel Tigh Is Totally An Adult
Think about how Tigh acted during the opening to season two when Commander Adama was unconscious from the gunshot wound delivered by Boomer. He made a number of massive mistakes, some that inherently cost people their lives. Now think about the way he treats Tyrol, the way he speaks to the insurgency, and how he conducts himself. Even if you disagree with his methods of warfare, which is completely up for debate, it’s hard to deny that he is a much more measured and thoughtful man than he was a full season before this.
I was blown away by the reasonable way in which he dealt with Tyrol’s panic. (Apparently, Tyrol panics by shaving his beard? I hope I don’t start doing that. I like my beard.) When the Chief nearly hyperventilates while trying to communicate the fact that Cally is on the Cylon list for execution, Tigh very quickly takes control of the situation. He calms Tyrol down, drilling some sense into him, and doing the one thing that helps diffuse the tension: assure Tyrol that he has the information and the skill to save his wife. I know Tigh’s scenes don’t make up much of “Exodus, Part I,” but they’re very important to his character’s growth. What I am now interested in is how this is going to all change with the revelation he gets at the end. Learning his wife betrayed the team to save him appears to have destroyed him. Also HOLY SHIT MICHAEL HOGAN CAN ACT. That reaction shot is so believable that I’m pretty sure someone told Michael Hogan that his whole life is just a hologram projection before the tape started rolling, and that was his genuine reaction.
The Cylons Don’t Like Death
I honestly believe that this is a significant plot and character point and one that will be developed at length throughout season three. One of the obvious advantages the Cylons have is their ability to “regenerate” their mind by downloading into another body. By not fearing death, since they can always come back, it allows them to be fearless and reckless at the same time. The humans know that this also means they cannot fight a war in any traditional sense because the Cylons essentially cannot sustain heavy damage ever because their “troops” can never truly be depleted. It’s actually something I was worried about the show dealing with. I imagine that without any sort of development or change, it would seem that fatalism was the only thing left to do. The humans would have to give up or find an even better hiding place.
But when rescuing the detained humans from their execution, Seelix leaves a wounded Cavil to die out in that canyon, and he eventually does after killing himself. What I’d never thought of was the way the memory of death could compound in on itself after each download. After a particularly slow and painful death, Cavil suddenly finds that the discomfort is giving him pause for the first time in his existence. Death was painful, and the download process may have traumatized him. At this point, there are only more deaths ahead of the Cylons. What will happen to a Cylon who has died twenty, thirty, forty times?
So of course the Cylons are like LET’S JUST NUKE THE CITY. And it’s not an offhand comment to me. They mean that and they would do it and that is legitimately the scariest moment in the whole episode.
Where Is Kara’s Sassy Gay Companion?
Because WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Oh my god. I know I am conflicted about Kacey but:
I don’t trust Conoy and I don’t trust the existence of that child. It feels wrong and it feels like a trick. UGH.
That Is An Unfortunate Place For My Mind To Go
That is a weird name for a canyon, I thought.
Don’t Make Me Cry On My Own Hanger Deck
Then stop being depressing as fuck. My god, I turn on the waterworks during goodbye scenes and WHY DOES THIS GENUINELY FEEL SO AWFUL.
No, Seriously, My Brain
Kat can die during the rescue and I wouldn’t feel sad. Not because I used to despise her, but because now I feel the show can’t really go anywhere with her character. I have a cold heart, apparently.
Now I Just Feel Bad For Him
I don’t even have it in me to be angry with Gaius Baltar. He has done terrible things, but he’s slipped into this cloud of depression, self-hatred, and doubt, and I just hate seeing him this way, despite what he’s done. It’s hard watching the scene between him and Caprica Six, who thankfully was not boxed, because you can see how hard she is trying to help him out. But he seems beyond that. It’s like his heart and his will power has been poisoned.
Are they going to include him in the rescue attempt? That should be interesting to see.
Well, I Did Not Expect That
An episode that largely focuses on Three??? I mean, I will gloriously accept any and all episodes that feature Lucy Flawless on screen for nearly a third of the running time (probably more, actually), but the writers handled her story and growth incredibly well. I genuinely did not know that Cylons could dream, but it’s because I never thought about it. Obviously, they have humanoid bodies, and if they experience all the other aspects of the human condition, why wouldn’t they have dreams? Three’s dream in particular is like a long-form hallucination: a tent. Strange stones. A child. Hera.
It’s not like Three to ever really express doubt, but the show doesn’t make this out to be a drastic change in her development. It starts out with curiosity and maybe a little bit of fear. When she finds the tent she saw in her dream, her interest gets the best of her. I think this is the first oracle we actually see on the show, and this one in particular is ambiguous enough to be easily written off as untrustworthy. At first, I should say. But when she tells Three that Hera is alive, Three seems ready to believe something. Yet what does it mean that if the Cylons “hold” Hera, it will undo everything they’ve done? Is that a literal statement?
Even so, the seed is planted in her mind and she can’t escape the coincidental nature of this all. I worried that her conversation with Dr. Cottle might reveal too much information, but the man does keep his secrets. Three did make a good point, that it made no sense to cremate the first of a species so carelessly, but Cottle assures her that Roslin was the one who ordered the child to be tossed away. But what started out as a moment of doubt turns into one of divine inspiration. Three starts to believe that she received a message from God, so it only makes sense that when she confronts Boomer in the Detention Center, who is trying to steal launch keys, that she would accept this as reality.
God, it’s such an awful scene because even though Three is right, she’s playing off the heartbreak and love of Boomer. She, too, wants to put the seed of doubt into Boomer’s mind, hoping it will eventually cause her to break from her Cylon treason.
But holy shit.
Boomer Hasn’t Been Lying
She is genuinely on Adama’s side, and shooting Three IN THE LEGS is all the proof I would ever need. Adama would not lie to her, she claims angrily, and the irony about this all is that Hera is alive, but Adama truly never lied to her. sweet christ.
Yeah, so fuck the Boomer haters. She’s LEGIT. But this is all contrasted with Roslin’s insistence on keeping Hera and Maya alive regardless of the cost so that they can get off that planet. Roslin, I know you have your practical reasons, but what are you doing? I don’t see Roslin changing her mind and taking a child away from Maya, but this situation can only end in disaster, right?
Don’t Make Me Cry On YOUR Hanger Deck
Oh, you’re going to give another goodbye speech in this episode? Why no, I’m not crying. Nope. Not at all.