Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S03E05 – Collaborators

In the fifth episode of the third season of Battlestar Galactica, a clandestine jury begins the process of secretly prosecuting the humans who collaborated with the Cylons. When both Starbuck and Gaeta get involved, everything is just goddamn awful. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.

This really isn’t going to be a comforting show to watch, is it? The writers have wasted absolutely no time in taking the bittersweet victory of rescuing the majority of survivors on New Caprica and then turning it into shit. (In a good way, I mean. Well…not that what happens here is good, but in the sense that it is riveting and entertaining as much as it is disturbing.) It’s very clear now that Tyrol’s angry outburst to Jammer in the season opener was setting up “Collaborators.” When faced with that promise, though, Tyrol doesn’t seem so willing to cheer on the execution of “traitors.”

The cold open of this episode gives us the tone for the whole story, and I don’t think that Battlestar Galactica has ever been quite this bleak or destructive. I’m reminded of Sharon’s words to Admiral Adama last season: Is humankind worth saving? It seems that humanity, even in a moment of victory, is prone to turning on themselves in the name of vengeance.

For all the moral ambiguity that exists in “Collaborators,” I know in my heart that what the Circle does in this story is completely and utterly wrong, and Jammer’s story is a perfect representation of that. Kidnapped and brought before a makeshift “jury” of six members of the fleet (including Tyrol, Tigh, and Seelix), he is forced to answer for his “treason,” namely working for the New Caprica Police. Even before it was outright confirmed, something just felt fishy about this. Why were there only six people running this? Why put a sack over Jammer’s head? Why the impromptu and poorly organized “trial”?

I thought that this episode would introduce the uncomfortable nature of these trials when Jammer told Tyrol that he saved Cally. Perhaps they would exist to show the “jury” that there was no clear innocence or guilt, and they’d increasingly find it more and more difficult to execute anyone. But they are unconvinced, and the six leave Jammer in the launch tube. They won’t actually kill him, will they? Tyrol will stop it at the last minute and say it’s wrong, won’t he?

He doesn’t, and I watch in horror as Jammer is sucked out of the launch tube, ejected into space. They killed Jammer. They killed him. What the fuck???? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? This wasn’t that black and white! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING???

Surprisingly, this is the LEAST AWFUL THING IN THIS EPISODE. From this point on, Tigh goes on a warpath against Gaeta, Starbuck joins in, and then….THIS IS ALL SO TERRIBLE. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but could these characters just have one day where things go well for them? Of course not! But still.

Well, there is a brief moment that made me smile in all of “Collaborators,” and it’s the first conversation that Roslin and Zarek have onboard the Colonial One after their escape. It was remarkable because of how positive and surprising it was: Zarek would essentially give the presidency back to Roslin instead of taking Baltar’s place. Even more shocking (but altogether pleasant) is Roslin inviting Zarek to be her vice president. I know that the two haven’t spent much time together, but out of everything that happens in this episode, it was one of the only things that felt right. I could suddenly see the two working together and it actually made sense. I was sure they would disagree on a lot of things, but I think Zarek and Roslin gained a lot of respect for one another because of what happened on New Caprica.

But the same events on that planet have negatively affected Felix Gaeta, and so began the thirty-minute clusterfuck of tense horror on my part as the Galactica turns against the man who helped them all survive. I’m glad Gaeta is getting an episode that focuses on him, though there is a part of me that wishes it highlighted more of how dependable and awesome he has been instead of a half hour of me wondering how hard I’m going to cry when he dies. Right from the start, when he steps into the CIC, Tigh is at his throat, scorning him for working with President Baltar. And look, I understand that Tigh is in a terrible place and he just lost his wife. He had to kill his wife for being a collaborator, so he expects the same measure of everyone around him. I get that. I do! But I don’t give a fuck. This is wrong, and you were wrong to kill your wife. What did it do to help the rebellion? Is everyone safer for it? Are you more respected because of it?

I’m glad that Admiral Adama steps in to put Tigh in line. I know that this is an uncomfortable and painful situation for both Gaeta and Tigh and there’s no way to navigate this story without this. With all the loss that the fleet has suffered (does the count at the beginning state that over 8,000 people died/were left behind? SWEET JESUS.), why are they continuing to turn against themselves? And it’s not just people in positions of authority. We see how the bulk of the crew treat Gaeta as if he is a Cylon walking in their midst, much like they treated Sharon. Of course, I entertained the thought that if Gaeta just admitted he was the source inside the government, it would clear things up, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this probably wouldn’t work. Only Tyrol would be able to validate it anyway. It’s not like he could have burst out with the truth in the mess hall and the others would listen to him.

So when Starbuck sat at his table, I believed she was going to try to welcome Gaeta back. And she was! And then even she turns against him. Like Tigh, I understand completely where she’s coming from. She was held in detention for over four months, tricked into believing she had a child, and forced to give Kacey up to her real mother at the end of it all. From her perspective, Gaeta did nothing to help her or anyone else. This is when he blurts out his role as the informant and, as I realized just seconds before this, it does nothing. It means nothing.

Even worse, the Circle has chosen Gaeta’s file next for consideration. It’s here the writers begin to break up the resolve of the group, with Anders being the first to break and Tyrol close behind with doubt. While I think the actions of the Circle work well as a metaphor for capital punishment in general and how it’s inherently flawed, I think that this has a much more modern reference built into it. It’s hard for me not to think about the military presence of multiple nations in the Middle East, and specifically how the United States suspended habeas corpus for countless people that were incarcerated by the government for reasons that were iffy at best for the bulk of them.

It doesn’t work entirely to fit as a metaphor, but it’s enough that it gives me pause. For me, though, I think it works best to show that even the smallest shred of doubt when it comes to capital punishment is enough to call the whole thing out. The murder of Jammer is bad enough, but as the Circle debate Gaeta’s innocence, they quickly turn against him, despite the evidence only being circumstantial. NO. NO. NO STOP IT. What are you doing? You have no idea who this man really is, and you’re going to execute him based solely on what you imagine that he did.

I was so happy to see Anders quit and my respect for him grew because of it. Yes, he had contributed to the death of others, but at least he was getting out and he provided Tyrol with a chance to refuse to vote on Gaeta either. So the group will have to disband, right? Right????

Oh. Oh, you brought in Starbuck. But. BUT. Oh, that could not be a worse choice. But she calls out the illegality of the Circle! Yes! Oh. Oh. They have legal standing because they are using Baltar’s own executive order against his collaborators. (At least, that’s what I thought the order was, a remnant from the New Caprica days that hadn’t been cancelled out.) So now they only have their own morality to stand in the way, and Tyrol still staunchly refuses to vote guilty.

Yet at the same time (and I love when this show splits events to parallel actions like this), Anders pulls aside his wife as the rest of the Circle try desperately to convince Tyrol to vote Gaeta as being guilty. What we witness is destruction. Starbuck’s relationship with Anders is dissolved as Tyrol’s own moral sense falls apart due to the immense pressure that he’s under. Both characters are damaged from what they experienced during their time on New Caprica (I think Starbuck had it a lot worse, but that’s not the point), and those events creep back into their lives in different ways.

And they come together to send Gaeta to his death.

There are so many scenes at this point in Battlestar Galactica that are brimming with terror and tension that there’s not even a justification for ranking them. It’s not the scariest ever, or the most disturbing, because this is BSG. THE WHOLE THING IS DISTURBING. But we are far along enough in this story that absolutely no one is safe from harm, tragedy, or even death. As Gaeta is detained and brought to face his crimes before the Circle in the same launch tube where Jammer lost his life, I resolved myself to expect the worst. What I never anticipated is that Gaeta would give up. And it’s not a sign of cowardice, either. Gaeta has told his side of the story and no one listened or cared, and he knows that the rumors will outlive the truth. He is fighting a battle he cannot win because the general public has already convinced themselves that he is guilty. What’s so depressing about this is that it’s painfully realistic. Gaeta is right and we’ve seen the evidence of it already.

I’m still a bit unsure what it is that inspires Starbuck to lash out at Gaeta and tell him to beg for his life. Is she angry at him for accepting fate? Is she angry at herself for feeling guilty? Either way, she inadvertently saves his life when she teases Gaeta loudly with the same information that he told her: that he was an informant, and he used a dog bowl to signal the resistance.

If you’d like evidence of an entire group of actors and actresses being basically perfect, I’d recommend you watch the moment when all six members of the Circle realize that they were just about to execute the man who quite literally saved all of their lives. It is a damning moment, one that I won’t forget when this show is over. In that second of epiphany, all six members of the Circle are faced with a fucked up reality: If they were all so willing to execute Gaeta, who was actually a war hero, could they have also botched the executions of everyone before them?

Maybe Ronald Moore and the writers didn’t intend to send this message, but it still feels like one giant FUCK YOU to the death penalty here in the United States. If there is a doubt about guilt, why do we still execute people? If it’s not a deterrent for crime, why use state-sanctioned murder? For the survivors of Cylon occupation on New Caprica, what possible purpose did these executions serve besides acts of vengeance?

AND THEN IMAGINE MY SHOCK TO FIND OUT THAT IT WAS ZAREK WHO SIGNED THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, NOT BALTAR. Oh my fucking god, WHAT? I know that Zarek was looking out for Roslin’s best interest (which, in a twisted way, is kind of sweet???), but that meant that PEOPLE WERE EXECUTED. Dude, PEOPLE DIED SO THAT YOU COULD ENSURE AN EASY TRANSITION FOR YOUR PRESIDENT. oh my god this show is so fucked up.

But Roslin–BLESS YOUR HEART, I MISSED YOU SO MUCH–is finally the one to do everyone right by pardoning everyone on the fleet. What a brilliant move, I must say. I don’t think that it will magically absolve the fleet of guilt or poor behavior. (We see that the crew hasn’t fully accepted Officer Gaeta yet at the end of the show.) The guilt and the fear and the terror from what happened on New Caprica is going to be with these people a long, long time. What happens if Baltar comes back? Are they all just going to be okay with pardoning him? (OH GOD HOLY PARALLEL, THE CYLONS ARE VOTING ON BALTAR I LOVE THIS SHOW FOREVER) I don’t think this is something anyone can forget, and I think the writers will continue to reference the occupation for at least the remainder of season three.

For now, though, I have the utmost respect for Roslin for at least trying to put the past behind her and the fleet, to work towards truth and reconciliation instead of revenge, and for her and Admiral Adama to start making out again because I need more shipper fuel. Sorry. I do.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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104 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S03E05 – Collaborators

  1. Stop! Collaborate and Listen to Us Condemn You to Death!

    This episode is not so much notable for what happens as for what it means.

    The dynamic between Tigh and Adama has changed. Adama cannot understand what happened on New Caprica. He spent those four months on his cushy little spaceship, chowing down on an endless supply of noodles that appeared out of nowhere. He spent those four months waiting. Tigh, on the other hand, was In The Shit. He has a completely different perspective on the whole matter.

    The dynamic between Starbuck and Anders has changed. Anders cannot understand what happened in that detention house. He spent those four months in the Resistance, organizing attacks and explosions. He spent those four months fighting. Starbuck, on the other hand, waged her own personal, ineffectual resistance, subjected to psychological torture, imprisoned, even less free than Anders. She has a completely different perspective on the whole matter.

    I could go on and on, but the point is that even though superficially, the show pressed the reset button and got everyone back on the ship, they really didn't press the reset button on the characterizations.

    I've become a Gaeta fan this season. Because he did what he could do, and he was risking his own ass every time he did even that. I really don't know that I'd have that sort of conviction and courage in his situation. I'm not entirely sure why he, I don't know, didn't immediately tell someone he had been the mole as soon as he got back on the ship, but…okay.

    I love Anders now, too, for seeing The Circle for what it was: a lynch mob. But the fucked-up thing about the whole endeavor is that Zarek had a point, in a twisted sort of way. Yes, this is certainly the most "efficient" way of dealing with this, but is it really justice? Tigh was pretty convinced it was justice, or at least he had convinced himself because he didn't want to sound like Aragorn. And speaking of Aragorn, where the hell did he and that redheaded chick come from? Were they in the webisodes? I really need to get around to watching those because they made reference to the Temple massacre again, and I have no idea what they're talking about.

    Laura Roslin is President again, and all is right. She sidesteps the whole issue by pardoning everyone, which doesn't bring Ellen and thirteen other people back to life. But it is a new, humane start following the second exodus.

    Adama, you're clapping too fast.

  2. This really isn’t going to be a comforting show to watch, is it?
    …You're just coming to that realization NOW???

  3. psycicflower says:

    I just want to reach through the screen and hug everyone. Except Zarek. Just when you think he’s doing good he’s having secret trials to execute people.

    ‘This is a jury I want to make that clear. It’s not about settling scores or personal grudges, it’s a jury.’
    ‘We are all victims of the Cylons and none of us can be impartial.’
    Thank you Roslin for spelling out exactly what I was thinking for most of the episode.
    I feel so bad for everyone but what they’re doing isn’t really right. There is no way most of those people can claim to be impartial. Heck Seelix picked Starbuck exactly because she saw her with Gaeta. Ander seems to be and Chief was doing pretty well but the other four, and later Starbuck, are way too emotionally involved to look at it objectively. I think Starbuck demanding Gaeta beg shows just how much this is about them and their hurt and need for some kind of revenge for closure and not about justice.

    And Gaeta, oh Gaeta. As terrible as it was for Starbuck to make him beg thank god she did or Gaeta would be gone and I would be crying. I love how he could’ve given out to them, he could’ve raged at them for not believing him, gone on about how hard it was and what a risk he was putting himself at but instead he just holds his head high, says he did what he could and walks away. Gaeta you are better than all of us.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    I bet Adama’s missed starting rounds of applause. He’s had his big rousing speech in Exodus so now all he needs is a good ‘So say we all’.

    • cait0716 says:

      Gaeta is better than all of us. He probably has the straightest moral arrow of anyone in the show.

      • psycicflower says:

        If Billy was still alive they could get together and complain about how everyone's sense of right and wrong is so messed up and/or complicated.

      • hamnoo says:

        I think it depends … on what your morals are. Since you can’t really define those for every human being alike, you can also chose between which character you like best as a moral beacon.
        Lee, Dualla. Others might say Adama.Or Sharon. I don’t know.

        This show is so varied and grey-shaded and I love it.

        • cait0716 says:

          For me, it's a combination of Gaeta's very strong sense of right and wrong (the other characters you mentioned are more conflicted) and his willingness to just put his head down and do the work. He knows what he believes to be right and he always acts on that. I think I just appreciate that he doesn't have the shades of gray some of the other characters do, even if that might be less realistic.

          • hamnoo says:

            Are you watching with Mark or have you seen the entire series?

            • cait0716 says:

              I've seen the whole series, but it was a while ago and many of the details are kind of fuzzy for me. I remember most of the major plot points. V xabj gung ng fbzr cbvag Tnrgn naq Mnerx pbyynobengr ba fbzrguvat naq trg guebja bhg bs na nveybpx sbe gurve rssbegf. V pna'g sbe gur yvsr bs zr erzrzore jung gurl qvq, gubhtu.

      • echinodermata says:

        I kind of want to give it to Helo, who I'd say has the strongest sense of right and wrong (as in he lives in a more black and white world where others perceive a more grey area) and is least conflicted about embracing some cylons.

        But in real life I'd sooner embrace Geata's more pragmatic approach than Helo's more lofty morality.

  4. clodia_risa says:

    This episode was made of nothing but pain.

    Nyfb, qbrf nalbar guvax guvf vf cneg bs gur ernfba jul Tnrgn riraghnyyl jrag qbja gur ebnq ur jrag qbja? Rfcrpvnyyl tvira Fgneohpx’f vaibyirzrag?

    • Lost Aurora says:

      Cnegyl, va nqqvgvba gb Fgneohpx, ur jnf cebonoyl cerggl qnza cvffrq bss ng Fnz gura gbb.

      Tnrgn znl or vqrnyvfgvp naq tbbq naq nyy gung ohg ur vf n ubeevoyr whqtr bs crbcyr. Onygne, gung Rvtug va gur jrovfbqrf naq svanyyl Mnerx. Ur qbrf abg unir n tbbq genpx erpbeq.

  5. knut_knut says:

    When I asked for a Gaeta episode, THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEANT!! I happened to be eating a lollipop while watching this episode, and when Gaeta’s picture popped up in The Circle’s file, I panicked, managed to bite off an enormous piece of candy and lodge it in my throat. Note to self: no more eating while watching BSG.

    AGH ZAREK WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! THOUGHT YOU CHANGED T_T You are no longer allowed to be friends with Roslin and Adama! I’m kicking you out. This episode is really just confirmation that Roslin should be supreme ruler of EVERYTHING.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I seem to remember you having issues with coffee last week…no more eating or drinking while watching ANYTHING.

      Yeah, I've had my differences with Roslin, but she honestly has the best judgment of anyone on the show. I feel reassured knowing that she's back in power, and I sort of need that while watching this show.

      • knut_knut says:

        Yes, I did! And I spilled orange juice while watching DW one week. I should be demoted to non-spill sippy cups and toddler food 🙁

        Same here. I'm worried about the legality of her little switcheroo with Zarek, though.

    • kristinc says:

      "Note to self: no more eating while watching BSG. "

      Neither of us have choked yet but spouse and I have forbidden each other from eating anything that crunches or has rattly packaging during BSG. We're one step away from mandating pre-unwrapped cough drops.

    • When I asked for a Gaeta episode, THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEANT!!

      I confess to thinking that about you and Mark. You got what you wanted! In the worst way! Sorry.

      • psycicflower says:

        Same here. Every time someone said they wanted a Gaeta episode or were worried about him during New Caprica I couldn't stop thinking just you wait.

      • knut_knut says:

        Haha, I should just stop asking for things from TV shows. It never ends well

  6. cait0716 says:

    God this episode was tense.

    Starbuck is just so broken, lashing out at anything and everything. It breaks my heart. I wish the scene with her and Anders had been filmed from the other side, though, so you could get a clear look at their matching tattoos. I love that they have matching tattoos now, and I think it would have been brilliant to draw attention to that fact as their relationship is crumbling.

    It gets a bit lost in everything else going on in this episode, but Zarek and Roslin's little presidential switcheroo bothers me. It doesn't feel entirely legal. As much as I missed Roslin, and as much as she is an outstanding president, she is *still* being appointed to an elected position. Yes, she has the backing of the military, but I don't know that she has the backing of the fleet. They might even vote for her now, after the whole Baltar debacle, but they aren't given the choice. It just bothers me that, once again, she sidesteps elections.

    • clodia_risa says:

      The incestuous nature of power-sharing that’s in this show is troublesome to me. Not only Roslin, but the fact that the two heads of the military were both Adamas? If I were a common person (assuming they’re allowed to know anything about what’s going on in the higher ranks), I’d be very concerned.

      Not like anyone cares what the common person thinks. The leaders are right and perfect and know more about what is going on than anyone else and to let anyone else in would be a security risk, so let’s not, eh?

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Much though I love Roslin, I always got the impression that part of the reason she kept Zarek as VP was to give her position more legitimacy. Since he was actually an elected official, and she technically isn't.

    • shoroko says:

      The thing is, that's pretty realistic when we're talking about what remains of a civilization following a devastating, cataclysmic war. The law isn't a magical thing that transcends time and space – it is very unique to its own context and the conditions that created it. And that was all destroyed with the Colonies, and when the day-to-day issues facing what remained of humanity became not budget crises or even very serious problems like social inequality and economic instability, but rather the very real possibility of the extinction of the human race.

      Frankly, I was surprised that even institutions such as the press and the Quorum survived the attack. A truly functioning democratic government that really reflected the reality the humans find themselves in just doesn't strike me as credible, even with as long as it's been since the attacks. It's taken countries facing much less than the annihilation of the human race much longer to institute something like this.

      That being said, I would agree more if I felt like Roslin is portrayed as some kind of saint. She's certainly been given a much more positive storyline than either Zarek or Baltar, but I think she's also been portrayed as cunning and ruthless enough that we don't have to see her return to power as unambiguously The Best Thing Ever, so much as better than the previous (and – uncomfortably so – democratically-elected) regime.

      • echinodermata says:

        See, I had the same issue about Roslin not being elected; I appreciate your point but my issue has more to do with this society still calling itself democratic. It's one thing to have Roslin become president when everyone else seems to be dead and everything's in chaos, with the promise of a proper election to be held in the future. But here we had Zarek, who was elected, simply giving his presidency to someone else because he thinks it's a good idea.

        I entirely believe Roslin would be a better president than Zarek, but that's not my issue. It's that this is not a democratic society. And that's fine; not all societies have to be a democracy, but they're still running through the motions of being a democracy and Roslin is supposed to be the head of that democracy when she came into office by an undemocratic process. The idea of it, just like the idea of vote tampering, just grosses me out. It crosses a line for me that has to do with them not upholding the spirit of the law, which I do believe can transcend time and space (…they're in space and probably at a different time than our own, and yet share similar values of life and society (yes, they're creations of humans from earth, but it's not like I have trouble imaging other species could share similar social values with us)), even if the written letter may not.

        • shoroko says:

          But what do you think they should do? Come out and say what they are? That's a lot easier said than done, since no one has a clear idea of what that is. I don't think Roslin or Zarek are making transparent power grabs in their action, but even if they were, that's not the issue – the issue is that it's so much easier to hold on to the familiar than it is to create something new, especially when that something new is an entire, functioning, legal and governmental system. Going through the motions of something that doesn't work anymore strikes me as much more genuine than having the characters, in this moment, do something like hold a constitutional convention or otherwise try to form a new system of government that reflects their current reality, especially considering that they are still effectively on the run.

          And this is my personal opinion, but I don't really think you're talking about the law when you talk about the spirit of the law. That "spirit" is the underlying cultural values that help shape governance and legislation – and while I do tend to believe in an underlying, universal notion of human rights and self-determination, I do also think that it is often the case that these values are subject to contextual issues and cultural norms. And the context here is, again, stakes so high that a wrong decision can mean the end of the human race. That's very different from the context that formed the system they're still using, and yeah, ideally they would recognize this and do something about it. But what would happen ideally is rarely what does happen in reality.

          Which brings me back to this: I never said any of this was good (in fact, despite conceding that the show made Roslin a better choice than Baltar or Zarek, I pointed out she was hardly flawless and has caused a lot of problems herself – one of the reasons I'm okay with it is that I don't think the show makes her leadership unambiguously positive); I said it was realistic.

          • echinodermata says:

            tl;dr: them ignoring basic tenants of their democracy just squicks me out and that overrides any contextual point for me.

            Real comment:

            Well, I'm not really going into this in terms of what I'd rather see, just what I don't want to see. I'm reacting simply on the grounds of ick do not want.

            Basically, I think we're approaching this from different angles. I really have no issue with any of the characters or the show for going this route, and I don't object to this on grounds of realism or anything, I'm saying watching Roslin come into the presidency without being elected for the second time simply…squicks me out. My comment was essentially to say their breaking fundamental tenants of their society that I too value and embrace is very much DNW to me, just like Roslin vote tampering really grossed me out because it's vote tampering ick ick gross.

            What I mean is that I don't really care about context in this instance; I do not object on grounds of realism or characterization or what have you, I object because it hits a great big DNW button for me. I'm not even necessarily calling it a rational objection.

            • shoroko says:

              And I can totally get that, really – and moreover, if I felt that at this point the show were on a meta level saying "GUYS THIS IS TOTALLY COOL AND OKAY AND A GOOD THING," I would be very much rejecting it. But I think it's doing what it does a lot – handling difficult issues in a sometimes even callously realistic way. And if that's the case then I can't fault the show itself for that in particular. (Though I certainly can and do fault the characters!) I guess I feel like you're saying "this is awful," and I'm saying "yeah, but it's probably what would happen."

  7. @LarrikJ says:

    I always thought it was funny that Seelix got a real part, when she was just a redshirt in season 1 who basically survived just because Aaron Douglas assigned her a name during shooting, and made sure to use it every take. (Really)

  8. elusivebreath says:

    Man, this episode was so STRESSFUL. Seriously, I spent more time yelling at the TV than I do when watching football (which is a LOT). Ugh, JAMMER! I didn't believe they would actually do it, so when he got sucked out into space I was completely shocked and unprepared, and things just got worse from there. The only good part was the utter and complete relief I felt that Gaeta was spared. Also, I do not like to see my Starbuck being so *mean* – despite that I understand why (in an intellectual sense since I obviously have never suffered anything remotely like what she did) she feels that way, I still don't like watching it. I love this show, but some episodes are just really hard to watch (which is a compliment)!

    • Geolojazz says:

      I know…I was hoping Jammer would start becoming a B character…but no…airlock…

      I think of what must've gone through his head…he really just wanted to make things better, really was a good honest guy at heart. What would I do in his shoes?

      …I just pray I never have to wear shoes like that.

  9. Ryan Lohner says:

    I love when you have two people dead set against each other, yet you can completely see where both sides are coming from and sympathize with them both to some degree. Tigh had to kill his own wife for being a collaborator, so why should anyone else suffer less for that crime? Starbuck went through four months of utter soul-destroying hell, and she needs someone to pay for that since she can't properly punish Leoben. And yet, this secret small group of people has taken it upon themselves to decide who lives and dies in the whole fleet?

    One neat tidbit I believe we learn for the first time here: the Cylons vote by model number, with each of the seven models we know and presumably the five we don't each getting just one vote. That's something that truly makes them separate from humans, their willingness to give up individual power like that.

    • cait0716 says:

      I think there was a scene of them voting down on New Caprica, with one representative of each model speaking for that entire line. It seems to work better with an odd number than an even number. Also, didn't Lucy Lawless mention that three models voted to kill Baltar, three voted to pardon, with only the sixes undecided? That's still only seven models…

      V frrz gb or urnevat Nyy Nybat Gur Jngpugbjre rireljurer yngryl. V pna'g jnvg sbe gung cybg guernq gb fgneg hc. Be whfg gur xabjyrqtr gung abg rira gur plybaf xabj jub gur bgure svir zbqryf ner.

      • clodia_risa says:

        V nz nakvbhfyl njnvgvat gung cybgyvar. V pna’g jnvg gb frr Znex syvc. Nyfb, gung fbat vf znqr bs njrfbzr naq jnf hfrq gb cresrpgvba.

        V qb oryvrir gung V znl or n pehry crefba, ohg V’z ybbxvat sbejneq gb uvf ernpgvba gb Xnen’f qrngu yngre va guvf frnfba.

    • echinodermata says:

      This was reported as spoilery; I don't believe it is. Will the person who reported it or anyone else who finds it potentially spoilery please explain the reasoning? Put all spoilers in rot13.

      Otherwise, I'm leaving the comment as is.

  10. psycicflower says:

    For now, though, I have the utmost respect for Roslin for at least trying to put the past behind her and the fleet, to work towards truth and reconciliation instead of revenge, and for her and Admiral Adama to start making out again because I need more shipper fuel. Sorry. I do.

    So say we all.

    I love how much of a Roslin/Adama shipper you are Mark. It makes me feel totally justified for my shippy feelings the first time round and now rewatching.

  11. Noybusiness says:

    Great review with lots of great thinky thoughts!

    I can't wait for next week, when you review the Doctor Who finale, BSG 3.06, BSG 3.07, BSG 3.08, and the extended BSG 3.09!

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      For some reason I totally read that as 'kinky thoughts' and I had to scroll up to see what I missed. 😛

    • toneDef77 says:

      We get Fringe in there too somewhere, so unless he does another extra review, we may not make it to BSG 3.09 next week. I'm so sad Doctor Who reviews will be going away for a while (OMG NOOOO) but it fits with Fringe starting back, we'll have Fringe reviews Mondays and BSG the rest of the week going forward.

  12. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I love the difference between how Roslin and Zarek deal with the same problem – Zarek's response is quick and brutal, and barely within the law. He does what's best for him, secretly and without hesitation, in order to sweep everything under the rug asap.
    Roslin, on the other hand, gives everyone a pardon. As she says, it's NOT going to be a popular move, but in the end, you realise that it's the only real choice they have. It's impossible to sort the traitors from the victims, and even if it were, what good does it do to take revenge on what few people they have left? Despite her earlier vehemence towards those aiding the Cylons, Roslin still realises that the only way to move forward is to forgive, because they simply won't survive fighting amongst themselves.
    In a way, it kind of parallels Adama's decision early season two to reunite the fleet and forgive Roslin for betraying him. Forgiveness isn't always an easy thing to do, but in both cases they realise that it has to be done, for everyone's sake.

    *sigh* I do wish there were more scenes with Adama and Roslin though. Roslin hasn't had a whole lot to do recently, has she?

  13. NB2000 says:

    When faced with that promise, though, Tyrol doesn’t seem so willing to cheer on the execution of “traitors.”

    Opening with Jammer's execution really shows why he feels that way. It has to be so painful for him to have to do this to one of his "kids". We saw how upset he was when Socinus and Tarn died on Kobol and now Jammer, who he'd previously thought was going to be on his side in all this, is the one being executed. Aaron Douglas does a really good job of showing just how hard it is for Tyrol to go through that.

    Aww Gaeta, somebody please give him a hug. Tyrol sitting with him at the end is sweet but the guy really needs a hug, or just someone telling him how awesome he is.

    We get our first look inside a Cylon baseship…and it's really frakking weird. Even the walls have those moving red lights in them! Gaius' attempt to get Caprica Six to not break up with him is so perfectly him. The sudden addition of "Oh and I need you too!" at the end of his big speech.

    It's a brief moment but I love the contrast of Laura's second swearing in to her first time back in the miniseries. She's so much more confident this time around. She already knows she can handle this job and is eager to get on with it.

    Zarek's speech about not giving people public trials so they can't become martyrs and have their names splashed all over the fleet…I'm sorry I just sit here thinking "So they don't get to be famous like you huh Tom?". I know it's a different situation but…there is a tiny bit of similarity there.

    I need more shipper fuel. Sorry. I do.

    I think we all do, Space Mommy and Daddy need to make out now please! Bill being the first to applaud after her speech was cute though.

    • psycicflower says:

      I had the exact same 'this all sounds very familiar' thought about Zarek's little speech but I guess he was speaking from experience.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I volunteer for Gaeta-hugging duties.

      Zarek obviously doesn't want any competition for the limelight. Ugh, I hated everything he said, and the idea that having dozens of people suddenly and suspiciously disappearing wouldn't open up huge wounds in the fleet is preposterous.

    • notemily says:

      Tyrol sitting with him at the end is sweet but the guy really needs a hug, or just someone telling him how awesome he is.


  14. echinodermata says:

    Nj, ybbx ng nyy gur plybaf jub qba'g xabj gurl'er plybaf.

    I really wish Roslin would actually be elected as president at some point. I have a lot of trouble simply welcoming her back as president when she's supposed to be running a democracy. Obviously I find her preferable to Baltar or Zarek, but ffs, this is the second time she's simply been placed as president without it being validated as the people's will. Don't like it.

    • psycicflower says:

      Fb hacercnerq, oyrff.

      I suppose at least she had to be elected as vice president by the Quorum in the first place? Yeah, no, that doesn't really make up for a full blown election.

      • cait0716 says:

        But she just gets appointed by the quorum on a recommendation from Zarek. And then he immediately resigns? It's pretty shady, and something I wouldn't definitely be calling BS on if I were in the fleet.

    • clodia_risa says:

      Vfa’g vg uvynevbhf? V zrna – gur guerr evatyrnqref!

    • monkeybutter says:

      I was wondering how the power handoff is supposed to work. Did they invalidate the results of the last election? Or did Zarek appoint her VP and then resign, leaving her in power? I'm happy with Roslin being president, I'd just like it to happen democratically.

  15. monkeybutter says:

    You know, when I ask for more Gaeta, I don't want to consumed with worry about his mortality. I was afraid that he would be met with this kind of hostility, but it's still hard to watch. I hope Tyrol eating with him is a sign that the alienation won't last forever.

    I'm really sad about Starbuck and Anders. I understand that they were changed by what happened to them on new Caprica, especially Starbuck, but I wanted them to be there for each other. And I think the reason Starbuck was so angry at Gaeta for not begging is that she wanted revenge, she wanted to know he was suffering.

    Roslin said just about everything I was thinking about the Circle. I was seething with rage about what they were doing, and it was a relief when she put an end to it. I actually thought that she was the one who ordered it since she was so involved with the resistance, and I feel awful for not having more faith in her. She's better than that. And I agree with you that this episode was a big ol' middle finger to the death penalty, even if they didn't intend it this way. I don't think you can cover doubt about executing someone without it coming across that way.

    • cait0716 says:

      Oh Starbuck and Anders. He wants so badly to be there for her, to understand what she went through, comfort her, and help her heal. And she just cannot accept that. It breaks my heart.

    • Crackers says:

      You know, when I ask for more Gaeta, I don't want to consumed with worry about his mortality.

      Seriously, during that entire discussion all the way back in the Season 2 episodes, all I could think was "JUST YOU WAIT", and "ARE YOU REALLY SURE YOU WANT THAT? HUH?". And it's hard not to feel for Gaeta because he's such an idealist, and It hurts me to think of how New Caprica must have devastated his soul even before the Cylons came along.

      And oh, Kara. Never have I encountered another show that makes me so badly want to grab characters right out of the screen and comfort them and maybe tuck them into bed and feed them soup. And never have I encountered another character who so frequently makes me want to grab her out of the screen and tuck her into bed in a nice, comfortable non-prison-y bed and feed her soup.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Yeah, Katee just has this way of making her face crumple that's heartbreaking. You'd have to be made of steel not to feel for these characters.

      • notemily says:

        And it's hard not to feel for Gaeta because he's such an idealist, and It hurts me to think of how New Caprica must have devastated his soul even before the Cylons came along.

        Gaeta is one of the more blatant examples of Break The Cutie I've seen.

  16. Maya says:

    I know I never should have expected such things from BSG, but I'm glad they're starting to ~go there~ with the residual trauma from New Caprica. Katee Sackhoff is so freaking incredible in this, and her fight with Anders broke my heart because you can tell she wants to care for him but just can't physically find a way to do it.


    Gaeta FTW. I felt so bad when everyone was attacking him for being a traitor and really, he helped saved so many people. And Aaron Douglas acted his butt off in this ep. It's interesting seeing how he's changed since he took such a leadership role on New Caprica.

  17. guest_age says:

    I somehow didn't realize that they didn't KNOW that Gaeta had been their informant until the moment that Starbuck started to taunt him about the dog bowl and they all had that moment you referenced where they realize they've been wrong. The whole episode, I was getting increasingly frustrated and actually kept asking my computer screen, "What? Why are you doing this? Why are you turning on him? He was feeding you information the entire time and you're pissed that he had to…stay in Baltar's good graces to do it? Why weren't you pissed that Duck joined the NCP in order to perform the suicide bombing, then? Huh? You dirty, dirty hypocrites." And then I finally realized they hadn't known, but by that point, I was so pissed off at them all that I think I experienced the episode entirely differently than I should have. DNW.

  18. kristinc says:

    Ohhhh guys. You're not doing this, are you? You don't want to do this. Tell me you're not doing this OH JESUS YOU'RE TOTALLY DOING IT. DON'T DO THIS. There's so few of you left! You do NOT need to be killing each other off any more than the Cylons have done! … Yeah, good job, idiots. You almost killed the guy who saved your own personal bacon. You should kiss his freaking feet.

    The whole thing is so profoundly STUPID, but not stupid in a bad-writing way, stupid in the most sickly plausible, nauseatingly recognizable "ugh people really would act like that because we're flawed and irrational creatures who always manage to fuck up somehow" way.

    It's a testament to the Tyrol created by Aaron Douglas that he's just participated in sending Jammer to a brutal death but I feel sorry for HIM, sad that he has to live the rest of his life with the knowledge that Cally is alive because of Jammer and this was the thanks Tyrol gave him.

    It really brings home that here we have this entire crew, basically, of people so traumatized and damaged by what they've experienced that in any ordinary situation every man jack of them would be on leave, if not discharged, for their psychological issues. But here, they can't be. Here, the inmates are running the asylum because there's literally no one else. It makes me wonder what else is going to be terrible and horrible as these increasingly unbalanced, deeply wounded people continue to make life and death decisions about each other.

    On a lighter note, Gaius. Looks like he's desperately wriggling to land on his feet yet again. I was amused by the lush velvet couch: I kind of wanted to see Number Six ring a bell and serve him a scoop of pate-like pet food in one of those fancy crystal glasses.

  19. Karen says:


    Something that I think prevents me from loving BSG without reservation is that sometimes it all seems too… obvious? I don't quite know how to articulate this correctly, but I'm going to do my best. I think that sometimes the thematic elements and metaphors are a bit clumsy and heavy handed, and I felt that with this episode.

    • echinodermata says:

      I generally don't like modern political allegories, and o hai BSG has a lot of them. Basically, I feel you on this point (assuming I understand your point correctly).

    • hassibah says:

      I think I agree. I'm not a big fan of forced political allegory, but I'm enjoying this season FAR MORE than the first two because it seems like the point of it is more to tell the characters story. Wheras before I felt a lot of episodes were trying to make a *really important point* first and really didn't deliver in terms of plots I cared about(*cough* Bastille Day *cough*). There are exceptions, like I like what they did with Cain and Pegasus mid season 2.
      This episode worked a lot better for me than a lot of the earlier storylines, though, just because all the war and political elements are THERE but they're a part of the landscape and I dunno, they (so far) haven't been trying too hard to explain things to the audience.

  20. hassibah says:

    I actually thought that Roslin had ordered the committee then I realized it was Zarek uh it was just like duh.

    I took the whole collaborator storyline pretty literally as what happens to people charged with treason in wartime or colonial situations. It's really not pretty but it's accurate.

    A few things:

    I wish we'd spent more time on New Caprica, but it was (story-telling wise) good while it lasted.

    Man wtf Anders, you go and make people kill their own wife and THEN you suddenly discover you have a conscience and start lecturing everyone about vengeance? No offense but if I was Tigh I would have strangled you. YOU ARE MAKING ME TAKE TIGH'S SIDE.
    I love Tigh as Magneto this season though.

    I have to admit it made me laugh when Tigh starts going on about how Gaeta is obviously the mastermind of everything. Um, what? But seriously why do you not just ask him?

    Was Lee's voice always this nasal? What's up with that? I ask all the important questions.

    • shoroko says:

      I have to admit it made me laugh when Tigh starts going on about how Gaeta is obviously the mastermind of everything.

      This really struck me when I watched it, too, though I kind of got it. In that it reminded me of my Dad trying to convince me that my hometown is More Full of Scary Sexual Predators Than Is Usual and me being "Um, you are not basing this on anything factual, it's just something you have made up in your head." And he's usually a lot more reserved than Tigh tends to be.

      Was Lee's voice always this nasal? What's up with that?

      I didn't notice it in particular, but Lee's voice is always the product of Jamie Bamber faking an American-ish accent, so maybe that was part of it?

      • hassibah says:

        Yeah, it's just random to me to make Gaeta the one in charge of who gets killed and not say A CYLON. I think Tigh might have been a little reactionary since he used to have Gaeta's back back in season 2 and now he's been through hell and torture while Gaeta was working relatively comfortably for Baltar. But logically, really Tigh? Really?

        Lee's voice sounded different to me this season, I don't know I thought maybe they were playing it up to go with all his other changes he's going through this year. Or it might just be my imagination.

    • knut_knut says:

      Maybe the fat didn't want to part with Lee's body so it decided to cling to his nasal cavity? His hair also looked off in this episode, but it might have been the lighting

    • kristinc says:

      "Man wtf Anders, you go and make people kill their own wife and THEN you suddenly discover you have a conscience and start lecturing everyone about vengeance? No offense but if I was Tigh I would have strangled you. YOU ARE MAKING ME TAKE TIGH'S SIDE. "


    • skinchanger says:

      I second your Magneto comment because: DUDE, RIGHT? It's all 'the X-men in space' up in that battlestar

    • Lost Aurora says:

      Man wtf Anders, you go and make people kill their own wife and THEN you suddenly discover you have a conscience and start lecturing everyone about vengeance? No offense but if I was Tigh I would have strangled you. YOU ARE MAKING ME TAKE TIGH'S SIDE.

      I think a lot of Anders reaction to Ellen is driven by the fact that they were in very similar situations. What would he have done if he'd been asked to betray the resistance to get Starbuck out of prison? I don't think he knows the answer to that and pushes Tigh because of it.

    • Crackers says:

      Man wtf Anders, you go and make people kill their own wife and THEN you suddenly discover you have a conscience and start lecturing everyone about vengeance? No offense but if I was Tigh I would have strangled you. YOU ARE MAKING ME TAKE TIGH'S SIDE.

      SERIOUSLY. I mean, Tigh is a pissy old bastard out on the warpath but it's hard not to feel for him. And though I do respect Anders for FINALLY standing up to the Circle when things look like they've gone too far, if I were Tigh I'd have gone a bit nutty too (as Tigh in fact did, he went even nuttier).

      • hassibah says:

        What I don't understand is, couldn't Anders have done a lot more good by staying on the committee and trying to be the voice of reason instead of leaving to be replaced by someone like 10000 times as angry as him? Or being the whistleblower?

        Tigh's life man, it's so fucked. It's nice to have a complex bad guy with interesting explanations of WHY he's so fucked up and evil. I really enjoyed his development in season 2 but no way was I expecting so much focus him now-I figured that would all go to the pretty 20-somethings-but I was quite pleasantly surprised.

        • Crackers says:

          He tried, but it's hard to use reason to appeal to people who are just out for blood (at least Tigh wanted things to be legitimate and done the "proper", that other guy who lost his son only cared about revenge was even worse).
          And as for whistleblowing….this shit was authorised by the President (which was Zarek, but still). who could he have gone to with it? For all he knew, it was endorsed by the Admiral too – three out of the six members were military themselves. You'll have to excuse my willingness to go easy on Sam for this one – it's pretty much the first action he's ever taken on this show that is not done in the capacity of Kara Thrace's lover or as a stereotypical hero figure, really.

          • hassibah says:

            Well it wasn't being kept a secret for no reason. It's not like the president hadn't been interfered with before and drawing attn to it could have at the very least slowed things down. The whole thing reeked of sketchiness.

            I was under the impression that the votes had to be unanimous to open the airlock up, I dunno.

  21. karate0kat says:

    For da Kara/Sam fans

    [youtube gKUNc3D366I youtube]

  22. karate0kat says:

    So, I wrote some meta some time ago, and I went to find it on lj, and it turns out I can't just copy and paste because it has a lot more spoilers than I remembered, but the relevant bit is, can you imagine what it must be like for Kara to try to be in a marriage right now? She just spent months with someone who kept her locked in a dollhouse, turning the idea of domesticity and love into something inextricably linked with fear and revulsion. And Sam is the kind of guy who would want to be there for Kara. He wants to hold his wife and be someone she can lean on. And that's pretty much the exact opposite of what she can handle write now.

    It still chills me to think about how close Gaeta got to being executed, not just for something he didn't do, but for the exact opposite of what he did. He saved their asses, all of them, and they were willing to kill him for it. No good deed, indeed.

    Oddly, I always assumed that Roslin and Adama finding out when they did was just because Gaeta told them, because he was the first to survive. It only just now occurred to me that the entire circle may have turned themselves in (so to speak) because the realization of how close they came to executing an innocent man made them realize what they were doing was wrong on such a fundamental level. Yeah, I'm fast.

  23. feminerdist says:

    Man on the rewatch, I just remember thinking "ohhh fuck," during the scene with Tigh and Gaeta. I mean, what is the crew thinking when Colonel fucking Tigh starts screaming at Gaeta and asking where his EYE is? That's one fuck of an awkward silence.

  24. ChronicReader91 says:

    This is by far the most tense I’ve been watching an episode of BSG- maybe any television show period. By the time they brought Gaeta onto the launch tube, I could see EXACTLY how it was going to play out. They were going to kill him, and immediately afterwards, Starbuck would reveal what he told her and what they'd done would dawn on them. I had mentally prepared myself for it. Well, when I say prepared, I mean on the verge of tears and yelling at the characters to SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO HIM ALREADY.

    But then Jake the Dog saves the day! OK, technically, Jake’s significant plot-point yellow bowl saves the day! (Whatever happened to Jake anyway? Did he get off of New Caprica?) I did think it was weird that he NEVER mentioned that detail in Tyrol’s vicinity before that moment, but… the near-miss horror and relief of that moment was so well-done I decided not to question it.

    “If you’d like evidence of an entire group of actors and actresses being basically perfect, I’d recommend you watch the moment when all six members of the Circle realize that they were just about to execute the man who quite literally saved all of their lives. It is a damning moment, one that I won’t forget when this show is over. In that second of epiphany, all six members of the Circle are faced with a fucked up reality: If they were all so willing to execute Gaeta, who was actually a war hero, could they have also botched the executions of everyone before them?”

    This. I went back and rewatched this scene several times just to see their “Oh shit, what have we done?” faces.

    Zarek shouldn’t be allowed to be President of anything ever again. I lost every bit of respect for him when he was talking about how his way of dealing with the collaborators was a good thing because they wouldn’t get lawyers or public trials. Funny though, I’m sure YOU got a lawyer, and a fair trial, and didn’t get automatically sentenced to death, you hypocritical douchebag!

    *Deep breath* OK,I feel a little better now. This one really did a number on my emotions, that’s all.

    Oh yeah, Anders is amazing. I actually liked and respected him more just for trying to do the right thing here than anything he'sdone in the series so far. His break-up with Kara was sad, but I didn’t think they’d last through the whole series, so I guess it was inevitable

  25. Shaylani says:

    (does the count at the beginning state that over 8,000 people died/were left behind? SWEET JESUS.)

    Don't forget, probably a large portion of that number would include the casualties of the nuclear bomb that Pegasus Six set off which destroyed Cloud Nine and several surrounding ships.

  26. MsPrufrock says:

    This whole episode was (as per usual with BSG) amazing, well-written, and superbly acted, but I have to admit that it was the very end of the episode that caught my attention. Being a law student interested in history and civil rights, naturally it was Laura Roslin's solution that impressed me. (Apologies if someone else already talked about this; I scanned the posts quickly but didn't see anything, and I feel a need to talk about my nerdy excitement.)

    Of course, people want justice, and everyone wants catharsis or some way to put the events on New Caprica behind them. Star Chamber-like trials for "collaborators" set up in secret by Zarek, however, are not the answer. First, how is it catharsis or good for anyone in the fleet outside of the 6 appointed to the Circle, when literally nobody else but Zarek even knew that these trials were going on? With even Adama only learning about mysterious disappearances, chances were just as likely – or perhaps likelier- that people would start suspecting there was another undercover Cylon in their midst who was kidnapping and disappearing people one at a time. It's just Bad News Bears, all around.

    On the other hand, public trials– as Zarek pointed out to Roslin– would be extremely messy, would probably split attention from other really important matters, turn people against each other, and take a really long time. Also, how many lawyers survived the initial attack, being chased around by Cylons for months, AND New Caprica? What about Judges? It sounds like there's a large list of suspected Collaborators, and if as few lawyers and legal people in general survived as I suspect, all of them (and any possible court system they could set up) would be way overburdened and these trials would probably be going on for years, if not decades. I don't even want to start contemplating the possible discovery periods necessary for those trials.

    So, if secret retributive Circles are out, and proper trials would be all but impossible to organize and coordinate, what's the solution? The Answer: A Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a la what South Africa did in the aftermath of apartheid. A TRC will not only give people– victims and Collaborators alike–a chance to speak out, but will also help to get to the bottom of what happened during the Cylon occupation of New Caprica. Granting amnesty to those suspected of Collaborating, if they consent to testify, not only encourages them to cooperate but allows the fleet to get way more information about what really went down. With so many people implicated, it seems like it's the only viable solution, even if it will still likely and understandably leave a lot of people with a bad taste in their mouths. (Thus endeth the legal/historical nerd babble.)

    Roslin for President of everything, for ever. So Say We All.

    • Crackers says:

      Hey, fellow law student! (ex-law student in my case, and not practising but still). And yes, that is absolutely where my own brain went when Roslin announced the creation of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission – the human race cannot afford to decimate itself in a quest for revenge, and having a commission would probably help more with the healing than firing all collaborators out of airlocks.

      Re: the Circle, for me, the first problem was that there's only the smallest veneer of pretence that the trials by the Circle were in any way impartial, despite being technically legal. It's probably impossible to find ANYONE who is truly impartial to New Caprica because literally everyone was affected in some way) but the fact that the people in the Circle included some of those most traumatised by the War, people who had good reason to just want to punish anyone in reach instead of really taking a clear-eyed look at the facts and determining guilt (seriously, they put Tigh and STARBUCK on a jury? Two among the most traumatised survivors of New Caprica, people who are clearly a mess internally?).

      Tigh and Seelix say that things have to be legal, that this isn't just a kangaroo court, but that's only in theory – in practice it's quite different, look at the way Gaeta's "guilt" was determined. If that's the standard to which he was held, I really wonder what it took for the Circle to clear someone of wrongdoing. Or if they ever did.

  27. PeanutK says:

    (fuck you homework, this is too much)
    This episode just makes me super, super uncomfortable in all kinds of ways. I love the way this episode feels like a commentary on the Death Penalty without being heavy-handed or cheesey, but in addition to biting my nails and feeling horribly nervous about Gaeta, I had no idea how to react to some of the characters in this episode. At first, when Starbuck started chewing out Gaeta at the dining hall, and later screamed at him and kicked him, my initial reaction was "HEY, FUCK YOU! LEAVE GAETA ALONE ASSHOLE" (and as a Starbuck fan, trust me when I say that's not an easy thing for me to think). That is, until a second later when I remembered all the things she had gone through over the past several months and how traumatized and damaged she must be. I cannot claim to know how I would be acting toward Gaeta if I had been in her place. In fact, I have no way of knowing if I would have been any more reasonable than any of the characters in that mock-jury. Everyone in this episode, the jury, Zarek, Starbuck, they were all acting out according to what they had experienced. Obviously, as a viewer I have the privilege of knowing that Gaeta was the informant, that he is not a traitor, and that he most certainly does not deserve to die. These characters do not have that luxury, and they are in a state of war, where questioning capital punishment is not something anyone is thinking about.

    Essentially, I'm just sitting here thinking "Okay everyone, please stop fighting, that would be really great! Let's just all get along!"

    • Crackers says:

      I cannot claim to know how I would be acting toward Gaeta if I had been in her place. In fact, I have no way of knowing if I would have been any more reasonable than any of the characters in that mock-jury.

      This goes for SO MUCH of what happens on BSG – we mentally yell at people for making choices or taking actions that we wouldn't, but I'd bet my life on the fact that it's extremely unlikely that anyone who's privileged enough to be sitting in front of a computer typing out comments for this thread has ever, or will ever, experience/d anything even remotely comparable to what these characters have gone through.

      Like the destruction of the Olympic Carrier by Apollo and Starbuck (what do you do when chances are that the enemy will use innocent people to destroy you?), Roslin's abortion ban (seriously, what do you do when there are less than fifty thousand people of any age left in the WHOLE WORLD and your race faces extinction within a generation?), or the actions of the Resistance (what do you do when a foreign power swoops in and turns you, in your already-miserable existence, into second-class citizens?)

  28. Clare says:

    I have little to say other than ANDERS WHY DO YOU BREAK MY HEART ugh I think it was at this point that he became my favourite character.

  29. notemily says:

    Ah, "Collaborators." This episode is so painful to watch. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    I hate bloodlust. I hate violence for violence. Poor Jammer 🙁 And then when it's over, it's obvious Connor doesn't feel any better about losing his son. Because that's not how it works.


    "This is about justice." No, no it's not. Sorry Tigh.

    "You see a death list and you do nothing about it?" What exactly was Gaeta supposed to do? I mean, other than give the list of names to the resistance, which is EXACTLY WHAT HE DID DO. Ugh, these people.

    "Hey, I've dropped half a stone." Your British is showing, Jamie Bamber.

    Lee's hair looks utterly ridiculous in this episode.

    I feel so bad for Gaeta. I love Gaeta. Of course he didn't like what was happening and he did his best and now everyone's treating him like shit.

    It's legal. You're telling me ZAREK is behind this? FUCK YOU ZAREK, I knew I still hated you.

    Starbuck just straight-up admits that she's looking for scapegoats. 🙁

    OMG DON'T BREAK UP YOU GUYS. Besides Helo and Sharon you're the only couple I still like.

    That goddamn dog must have been really pissed off at you guys.

    I don't care about Zarek's justification for this, that he's supposedly getting the blood off Laura's hands or what the fuck ever. You don't round people up and airlock them in the middle of the night. You just don't. I hate you, Zarek.

    Blanket pardon. See, THIS is the side I like of you, Laura Roslin. Not the side that steals babies.

    At least Adama doesn't go for the slow clap this time.


    V’z tynq Tnrgn vf trggvat na rcvfbqr gung sbphfrf ba uvz, gubhtu gurer vf n cneg bs zr gung jvfurf vg uvtuyvtugrq zber bs ubj qrcraqnoyr naq njrfbzr ur unf orra vafgrnq bs n unys ubhe bs zr jbaqrevat ubj uneq V’z tbvat gb pel jura ur qvrf.

    Bu, Znex. Lbh unir AB vqrn.

  30. Nixorbo says:

    I'm doing my first rewatch of this show since the original TV broadcast. I had remembered this being the hardest episode to watch.

    Dear Lords of Kobol did I remember accurately. It's a fantastic episode, don't get me wrong. It's just so unflinchingly BRUTAL.

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