Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S04E12 – A Disquiet Follows My Soul

In the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica, Roslin’s absence in her role as President continues to send the fleet towards disaster as Tom Zarek’s power as Vice President continues to expand. Various members of the fleet continue to cope with the realities of Earth, their identity, and the complications of children. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.

Well, everything’s a damn mess, isn’t it?

A lot happens in “A Disquiet Follows My Soul,” though I’m happy that the story itself is never confusing or incoherent. We’re given a snapshot of a fleet in panic mode; what had previously held them together no longer exists, and a limited few do their best to try and find something to unite the fleet with. It seems that Lee, Adama, and Helo are the only ones making an effort to create a sense of unity across the fleet, but this time, it appears that they’ve underestimated the number of variables working against them.

Yet amidst all this chaos, there are quiet moments of joy and calm, and this particular episode ends on an uncharacteristic high note, one I’m simply not used to this show giving me. For some of these characters, they struggle to find ways to move on, even if they don’t necessarily figure out what those things are.

“A Disquiet Follows My Soul” manages to swing from one point-of-view to another, and I think I’ll break this up that way to address the various character focuses:

Colonel Tigh

I’m actually quite happy that Adama has just accepted his longtime friend as a Cylon and allowed him to retain all of the same privileges and posts that he did before. Tigh’s still the XO and the crew also obeys his orders as if nothing has changed. The man is certainly struggling with his identity, but I think have Adama’s blessing in this sense makes the whole thing a lot easier.

On top of that…well, let me just ask the obvious question first: WHEN DID TIGH AND CAPRICA-SIX HAVE SEX? I mean…this was never shown on screen, so….we can just assume it’s them? What if this is a writer’s trick and Caprica Six actually had sex with someone else? We could just be meant to assume that Tigh did this since he spent so much time with her, but then again, we never saw the act ourselves. Regardless, for the time being, Tigh is acting like he’s the father and it is EXTREMELY WEIRD.  Oh, and then it’s made weirder when Caprica Six vocalizes her epiphany that the Cylons can totally survive beyond this current generation if they can now procreate. ISHAY STOP LOOKING AT HER LIKE THAT. WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING. I don’t LIKE IT.

For all the chaos that takes place in this episode, I like that Tigh’s story is…well, it’s pleasant, isn’t it? He’s surely got his own problems trying to navigate being a Cylon with being part of the fleet, but it appears people accept him and he is going to have a child! Which just means that things will be destroyed soon because this show doesn’t let us have hope. I’m trying to learn, y’all!


The man is already have enough problems as it is, and I think that opening meeting about the alliance demonstrates the difficult he is having with his identity. We have thankfully gotten a lot of his story this season, and now we watch him struggle with something as basic as pronouns. I think it’s an important scene because it shows that he doesn’t even know how to refer to himself or the other Cylons. Even though he is a Cylon, he knows almost nothing of their life and culture. He hasn’t even been aboard a Cylon ship yet; he’s had no special meetings or anything, and he feels human for the most part, too.

AND THEN HE FINDS OUT HIS SON IS NOT HIS AND THAT IT ACTUALLY IS HOT DOG’S. WHAT THE HOLY FUCK, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO ME??? More importantly, what are you doing to Galen Tyrol? The man finds out he’s a Cylon, then his wife is killed by Tory Foster and he’s led to believe she killed herself, AND NOW YOU’RE TAKING HIS SON AWAY, TOO? What did Tyrol ever do to you?

I really hope this isn’t leading to Tyrol doing something drastic and terrible. I mean, Hot Dog fathered the child, but he seems like the worst person to be Nicky’s father. Jesus, the awkwardness…I CAN’T DEAL.

Gaius Baltar

I didn’t expect him to become the leader of a cult to begin with, so I certainly did not anticipate the BRILLIANT character turn that he’s dealt in “A Disquiet Follows My Soul.” How relevant is that episode title? The man so sure that he was an agent of God is now publicly questioning that very belief, deconstructing what he once preached, and challenging the idea that God loved them at all. I noticed that Head Six isn’t around for Baltar anymore; was she always leading him towards preaching about the one true God? Will she reappear now that he’s beginning to question and reject his faith? Will he keep his fabulous new haircut? I ask only the important questions on this blog.

Felix Gaeta

I think what I love most about his story is the fact that the webisodes are integral to understanding why he makes the choices he does here. Increasingly upset at the power that Adama and Roslin have, and at what he sees as an absurd willingness to rely on the Cylons, he starts vocalizing his distaste with the entire alliance. It starts off small, with him questioning Adama in meetings and in the CIC. But he lashes out (in a wonderful reversal of roles of “Collaborators” I LOVE THIS SHOW) on Starbuck in the mess hall. I was (and still sort of am) confused as to why he chose her specifically to make that sort of scene. On the one hand, I get that she was involved in trying to execute him in season three, that her actions also led to Anders shooting him in the leg. We’d never seen him truly act out his frustrations towards any of these people before.

But I think Gaeta is taking things too far, insulting Anders merely for the sake of it. I am not even sure he believes that the Final Five Cylons had anything to do with what happened on Caprica, but he’ll tell himself that to help lead a mutiny. So I do understand why he eventually teams up with Tom Zarek at the end, as much as I don’t want to see it. It can’t end in anything but disaster. However, Gaeta is furious at the very existence of the Cylons because he can trace every terrible thing that’s happened in his life back to them. Why would he want to be their ally at all?

Laura Roslin

Oh, my goddamn heart. Laura’s story is about acceptance, and as much as Adama wants her to follow his idea of what she should do with her life, we see her reject all of this. She throws away her pills. She pushes Adama away when he tries to force her back into the political world. She decides she’s going to work out simply because it makes her feel good about herself, and appearances be damned! The truth (which she vocalizes to Adama) is that she is sick of playing a role. It is one without choice. She is done playing the “dying leader” in a prophecy that proved fruitless. Instead, she chooses to accept who she actually is, and she chooses to accept her life as it is. Contrary completely to what Tom Zarek is preaching to the Quorum, Roslin has not a single aspiration towards power. She is doing nothing to stay in power, and I believe we’ll see her give that power up completely in the next episode or two. She wants ordinary things, and I honestly can’t blame her for it. Her life for the past three years has been absurd, dangerous, and tragic; why would she want to keep pursuing that?

Which leads me to…

Admiral Adama

It looks like fatigue is finally catching up with Adama himself. Is he just as tired of living an extraordinary life? To be fair, he does initially choose a different route than Roslin post-Earth. He chooses to present himself in public, to continue running Galactica and the rest of the fleet, and he chooses to face a number of politically difficult decisions. Does he outfit the fleet with Cylon FTL technology, and does he force the other ships to comply? Does he give the rebel Cylons citizenship and the protections that come with them?

Even though we see Adama and Zarek butt heads yet again in “A Disquiet Follows My Soul,” I was fascinated by how different the dynamic is this time around. I mean, I genuinely never thought we would see Zarek beyond season one, and now he’s a key player in his “revolution” against Adama. Like most things in this show, the writers take care to make sure that there is truth and fairness to what some of the opposition power says in conflicts like this. As difficult as it is to accept, there’s precedence and a mighty fine point at the heart of what he does here, but Adama knows that when it comes down to it, Zarek is wrong about him and about Roslin.

Out of his own selfishness, he begs Laura to return. And let’s be frank about that: his requests are selfish, and that’s why Laura refuses all of his offers. She is a person with her own life, and she’s not going to parade that (and her failures) out in some absurdist celebration of the unnecessarily complex political process that the fleet has devolved into. Honestly, it’s a clever move on her part. Zarek now has more power than he’s ever had, the government has crumbled, and things are fractured. Why on earth would Roslin choose to face all of that now?

Adama, instead, has to face this on his own, and when the Hitei Kan mutinies (on Zarek’s orders), he has Zarek arrested and thrown in the brig. In one of my favorite moves in Adama history, he lays it out for Zarek: Adama could destroy his reputation as a political hero and martyr with evidence that he’s actually a political criminal, selling bits and pieces of Roslin’s government. You can’t be a hero if you are corrupt. It works, and Zarek gives up the location of the tylium ship.

AND THEN WE FIND OUT ADAMA HAD NO EVIDENCE AND WAS JUST BLUFFING AND THIS IS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL AND OH MY GOD I LOVE THAT MAN SO MUCH. If he can’t beat Zarek through the proper public channels, he’ll sure as hell play his game to keep him down.

or will he. Oh god what are Zarek and Gaeta planning JFC

But honestly, all of this review is basically garbage when you think about the final minutes of “A Disquiet Follows My Soul.” I have had the rare chance to develop my first hardcore ship between characters, and then have that ship confirmed by the show’s canon. If I could have just rolled around on the floor screaming when the camera panned out to show Roslin and Adama in bed, I would have. But my roommate was asleep and that’s really rude okay.

I don’t want to ignore this, though. Adama met Roslin on her terms. He forsook his role as Admiral for just one night, and the two of them were just ordinary people sharing love for one another. Even if Adama is going to have to give that up again (and lord knows that whatever happens next is certainly not going to be a walk in the park), they had that moment again. I even noticed that Adama didn’t look as tired as he had earlier in the episode. Was it working? Was the disquiet in his soul being driven away? For a show as bleak and destructive as Battlestar Galactica, I was genuinely touched that, just for one episode, we could end things with an actual moment of hope. Not a sign of it, or a hint of it, but a moment that could show us that things were perfectly okay for this brief flash of time.

I’m sure this show will take it away from me soon enough, but you allow me this goddamn moment, okay?

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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94 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S04E12 – A Disquiet Follows My Soul

  1. Jenny_M says:

    Yay! It was naked time!

    (Also, how much do I love that the show went with a bald Roslin for that scene? It would have been so easy to put a wig or scarf on her because that would be the 'expected' thing, but they didn't.)

  2. Ryan Lohner says:

    Hot Dog being Nicky's father was pretty much immediately recognized as a cheap little writing patch to get rid of the complication of another human/Cylon hybrid. Maybe they intended to do something with it but then realized they didn't have enough time. Either way, it's one of the clearest signs yet of how much scrambling was going on in the writing room as they tried to make use of the episodes they had left to try to wrap this insanely complex mythology up. At least they made more of an effort than the people behind Lost.

    • psycicflower says:

      Please don't use 'insanely' on this site.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      yeah i'm sorry

      LOST had it's problems

      But I'm pretty sure you have no idea what sort of effort the writers made in the last season?

      Also I don't give a fuck I LOVE SEASON SIX.

      • psycicflower says:

        Also I don't give a fuck I LOVE SEASON SIX.

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

      • Ryan Lohner says:

        They tried to say at the last minute that some of the questions didn't matter because the show was always about the characters, regardless of how they'd been saying for years that everything would be answered. The BSG writers didn't pull that crap; they were upfront from the start that they were mostly making things up on the fly, and still did their best to wrap up the lingering questions.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          Who cares, though? I mean, the writers of LOST had to deal with so many horrific outside factors: The writers strike, ABC, actors leaving, scheduling conflicts, reduced episodes ordered…what does it matter, ultimately? And honestly, the character story is a million times more important than all of the irritating, whiny, pedantic questions people wanted to know the answers to.

          • stefb4 says:

            THIS. THIS so much

          • emily anne says:

            honestly, the character story is a million times more important than all of the irritating, whiny, pedantic questions people wanted to know the answers to.

            THIS times two. hell, times two MILLION.

      • Jenny_M says:

        Mark, I think you are my spirit animal. I have spent so many hours of my life with my fingers in my ears going "SORRY? WHAT'S THAT? YOUR OPINIONS ON SEASON SIX ARE IRRELEVANT BECAUSE I LOVED IT SO SHUT UP."

        Obviously those of us who love it need some sort of support group. FOREVER ALONE.

        • stefb4 says:

          I loved season 6! Actually, a few of the episodes were some of the strongest in the show (my biggest regret is that there was no shirtless Richard THAT GUY WAS CUT OKAY?!(am i even using that word correctly i don't know why am i so unsure) The weakest season was the first 2/3 of 3.

  3. JonT says:

    I was never sure if Tigh was using "laundry" as slang , i.e. "dirty laundry" or if Adama was bluffing.

    • knut_knut says:

      haha same here- You Are Not Alone!!

    • Peter says:

      I've always been pretty sure Adama was bluffing. I thought Tigh's reaction suggested that. But then again, I could just be imagining that because I like it better if he were bluffing.

    • robin says:

      Tigh's baffled tone means to me that it's pretty clear that it's really "laundry". I didn't remember anything from the podcast commentary that would indicate otherwise…

  4. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I vividly remember actually crying while watching the scene of Laura running around the ship, and not quite even knowing why. It was such a weird moment, I was genuinely surprised to find tears on my face. But for some reason that scene just hit me so powerfully.

    I basically care about nothing in this episode except for the end. Finally, FINALLY, our Spaceparents get a moment of peace and love and it's all just so goddamn beautiful my heart.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Do you think the music during that scene played a part in your reaction? Because the intensity, desperation almost, of it hit me strongly.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        I'm sure it played a huge part in it. I do find myself very strongly affected by the soundtrack to a show – I own loads of soundtrack CDs and there are actually a couple of tracks on my iPod that I avoid listening to because if I'm in the right mood they can reduce me to tears just by reminding me of the scene in which they were played. Which can be embarrassing if I'm on the train or whatever.
        It's weird because I don't see myself as a very emotional person? But a well composed soundtrack…

        Incidentally, one of those tracks is (BSG spoilers) 'Fb Zhpu Yvsr', because you just just hear the exact moment when…well, you'll know what I'm talking about when you hear it.

  5. elusivebreath says:

    My daughter and I theorized that that last scene would have you flailing right off of the couch 😛

  6. guest_age says:

    Without roommates to worry about, I actually did screech and flail around when Adama and Roslin were in bed together. And then I IMed my best friend (who watched the show when it aired) just to say, "SPACE MAMA AND SPACE PAPA ARE IN BED TOGETHER AND NOTHING HURTS!" to which she replied, "Isn't that the episode where Gaeta teams up with Zarek to mutiny against them?" "…Well, yeah." "Shipper."

    That's pretty much how you know you hardcore ship something, I think. When you can legitimately forget for a moment about all the awful stuff going down in this episode and just smile because HOW CUTE ARE THEY.

    Also: Thanks for finally answering my question as to why the Cylons weren't interested in Nicky, show, although for Tyrol's sake, I wish you hadn't. 🙁

    • Noybusiness says:

      More like why Head Six never talked about him. The Cylons wouldn't know he was a "hybrid" till they learned Galen was a Cylon. So they must have thought he was one from "Revelations" to now and been disappointed.

  7. knut_knut says:

    As terrible as it sounds, I really love watching everything fall apart- Roslin refusing her treatment and her duties as President, Gaeta organizing a coup, Adama’s exhaustion, etc. I think the show has done a wonderful job all season of establishing just how tired everyone is, even the audience is emotionally exhausted, making the events that occur in this episode all the more believable. I don’t enjoy watching Adama slowly unravel or Gaeta turn against members of his crew, but it didn’t make me want to curl up into a ball and wallow in sadness like I’ve done pretty much all season. Maybe it’s just because the episode ended with Roslin and Adama being adorable and just not giving a fuck, but save for the whole Nicky thing, I was never clawing at my face and flailing or anything. I just hope Gaeta doesn’t die…OR HELO AGH! (if your prediction comes true, Mark…)

    I think we’re supposed to assume that Tigh and Six had sex when he was “interrogating” her. And I think Gaeta went after Starbuck to get her out of the room since he knows she’s all buddy buddy with the Adamas and wouldn’t be down for a coup.

    • cait0716 says:

      I was convinced Helo would die. Mostly because Tahmoh Penikett had just accepted a role on another show and I didn't know how the shooting schedules worked or whether he was going to have to choose. It was torturous.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I figured everyone else had gathered there on purpose (the crumpled notes gave a meeting time?) and Starbuck just happened to be there, so that is a good reason for the antagonism. Also, he got shot during the mutiny against her, and lost his leg waiting for her to parley with the Cylons. Damn, there are a lot of reasons for him to resent Starbuck. I don't like it when my favorite characters are at odds.

      • Peter says:

        Two crewmen follow Starbuck out of the rec room after her showdown with Gaeta. I've always imagined that the showdown was basically a litmus test: Who else still believes in the Roslin-Adama Military-Industrial Complex, even after they've sided with Cylons, and who is willing, after seeing the confrontation with Starbuck, to hear what else Felix has to say? I've always imagined that this wasn't the only instance of this going on at this time. That Felix, and later, the other people in that room, would go around the ship, holding similar confrontations, seeing who's willing to listen.

      • knut_knut says:

        Yea, I think it was a mixture of “oh shit, Starbuck is crashing our meeting how do I get rid of her?” and REVENGE!!!! I’m pretty sure he meant everything he said, but I’m not sure he would have said it all right then and there had she not accidentally invaded their meeting space. Do I have to choose between Starbuck and Gaeta? I don’t think I can

        • monkeybutter says:

          Me neither. 🙁

        • robin says:

          For me it's always about coming down on the side of union & love. Starbuck and Adama not betraying the people they love who turn out to be Cylons? The choice to try for peace instead of war? That's something I can side with more than poor Gaeta's understandably tragic outlook.

          I don't know which side is more "right", but on every show I watch… that's where I always emotionally go.. to the people who are doing what they're doing for created family & deep individual bonds. Acting because of love. Even if it's for the "wrong" thing.

          I feel like Gaeta used to be that guy, and I adored him for it, but now when he speaks it's about what he hates & fears. Thinking of Starbuck's marriage as a dirty collaboration… *weeps for Gaeta* I feel like Adama's arc over the series.. it's kind of going in the opposite direction — If you compare from the beginning of S1 he went from such a hard line to becoming more open to forgiveness, to displaying empathy, to taking a chance at getting hurt again in order to maybe win something better.

          [not to say that I'm more correct than anyone else. that's just how I personally react.]

        • notemily says:

          I love Gaeta, but right now I am not on his side, morally. Gaeta is making all the wrong choices here. Starbuck, despite what she said earlier, has NOT hunted down Anders and shot him for being a Cylon, and I think that says a lot.

  8. psycicflower says:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    *high pitch noises*
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    Now that that’s out of the way, this episode gives me conflicted feelings outside of everything continuing to be horrible. Roslin and Adama do deserve a break, everyone does really, and as much as I want them to have it , especially given Roslin's talk with Adama, they just can’t right now. Galactica and the fleet are clearly falling apart. And Gaeta teaming up with Zarek (what are you doing Gaeta!) can’t end well. Why can’t everyone just be happy and get along?

    At least Bear McCreary continues to bring us joy.
    [youtube 4QHkIXbLWTY youtube]

  9. cait0716 says:

    This episode has some fantastic lines. I think my favorite is Baltar's "Perhaps it is God who should come down here and beg for OUR forgiveness!"

    I love the scene between Gaeta and Starbuck in the mess. I think he zeroed in on her because he wanted her out of there. He's trying to get people on his side against the cylons and he was sure that Starbuck (being all wrapped up with the cylons) wouldn't report him for it. So he gets rid of her, then presents his case to the rest of the mess.

    Caprica is so happy she's pregnant! Being a mommy is all she's ever wanted, ever since the very beginning. I don't think I ever doubted it was Tigh's baby. I mean, who else's could it be? He's the only one who has been alone with her without guards or surveillance.

  10. clodia_risa says:

    I love the creators forever for letting Zarek have this awesome recurring role. It adds such richness to the story.

    As for Gaeta and Starbuck, I had always assumed that he lashed out at her specifically because she was “collaborator” that didn’t get burned for it. Baltar’s burned all his bridges because of it, only leading his cult now. Gaeta’s been hurt, and hurt badly, for trusting a Cylon. Twice. Starbuck’s worked with the Cylons, married a Cylon, and she’s fine. And she thinks she’s better than him? She tried to murder him and he was trying to help! He gave information to the resistance and it turns out they were all Cylons and she tried to shame and murder him for it and then made him lose his leg and she’s sitting all pretty, Adama’s favorite, nothing ever touches her. Not even death.

    [Forcibly pulls myself back from angry-Gaeta headspace]

    So…that’s my theory.

    • BSGfan1 says:

      And how great that Richard Hatch didn't let any bitterness about the reboot affect his ability to see brilliance of the new series and that he wanted to be a part of it. I loved that he did that. So great.

      • tanbarkie says:

        It's really, really funny to go back and watch the 70s BSG when you're familiar with Hatch as Zarek. You can't look at "Captain Apollo" without wanting to scream, "HE'S LYING! DON'T TRUST HIM, COMMANDER ADAMA! HE'S GOING TO SEIZE CONTROL OF THE FLEET IF YOU TURN YOUR BACK FOR EVEN AN INSTANT!!!!"

        Then you remember that you're watching a show in which the extermination of the entire human race is apparently a setup to get our Gallant Heroes onto a casino planet, and turn off the television in disgust.

    • notemily says:

      Starbuck is far from fine, but I agree, Gaeta doesn't know that. How can he know that she just GAVE HERSELF A FUNERAL PYRE.

  11. monkeybutter says:

    Oh man, I was worried about Gaeta going on a downward spiral after "The Face of the Enemy," and he's not disappointing. He's gone from being naive about people's flaws and failures, to becoming jaded and resentful in a way to avoid his own mistakes. It hurts to watch. I think he sought out Starbuck for that chat because of what happened in "Collaborators"; he knows he messed up, she went after him for it (though neither of them knew or at least understood what he was guilty of), and now he's retaliating in kind. Everyone in this fleet, human and Cylon, has fucked up. Gaeta's just having a harder time accepting it. I can't see this ending well. 🙁 (Also, I'd like to see him and Hoshi together outside of the webisodes.)

    I think they had sex when Tigh was visiting her. Off screen. I guess it could secretly be someone else's, kinda like (poor baby) Nicky. That was a whole bunch of what the fuck. Are there any other ways to screw with Tyrol's emotions? I'm sure the writers thought of them. Anyway, Ishay's uneasiness about the survival of the Cylon race makes me worry about something happening to the fetus, and hell being unleashed. So much can still go wrong!

    • Noybusiness says:

      There was a reference in Sine Qua Non to Tigh always turning off the cameras in Caprica's cell, so that would be when they had sex.

  12. Peter says:

    Things I Love:

    1) "There is a Languor of the Life" – Emily Dickinson
    There is a Languor of the Life
    More imminent than Pain —
    'Tis Pain's Successor — When the Soul
    Has suffered all it can —

    A Drowsiness — diffuses —
    A Dimness like a Fog
    Envelops Consciousness —
    As Mists — obliterate a Crag.

    The Surgeon — does not blanch — at pain
    His Habit — is severe —
    But tell him that it ceased to feel —
    The Creature lying there —

    And he will tell you — skill is late —
    A Mightier than He —
    Has ministered before Him —
    There's no Vitality.


    3) "That's a lot of smoking around a pregnant lady." "She'll live." COTTLE YOU JUST ARE THE BEST.

    4) Who knew malaise could be so entertaining to watch?

    Things I do not Love:

    1) Annoying retcons, like "whoops Cally cheated on you but it's okay because you weren't yet married. And yes, this does mean Nicky is not a special Cybrid like everyone was theorizing, but that's alright, just move along. Nothing to see here." (Honestly, I don't really care that much. When I first watched the series, I expected there would be a retcon at some point. And it doesn't detract from the overall beauty of this episode!)

    2) ZAREK + GAETA. Can we go back in time and undo this little conspiracy PLZ???

    Things I Love a Great Deal:

    [youtube y-V0YYHLVXg youtube]

  13. patatsea says:

    I know lots of people hate the Hot Dog is Nicky's father retcon, and it will always stand out clear and plainly as a retcon, but I really loved what this retcon did for Tyrol's character, not because I'm gleeful about pain and misery, but because it just provided another shade to the Final Four, another point on the human to cylon spectrum that they seemed to be exploring. Tory threw herself fully over to the cylon side, I think Anders might actually be living his life the most unchanged, because despite Tigh continuing at his post, reckless behavior like hooking up with Caprica Six suggests he's still reeling, existentially. But Tyrol is the most interesting to me, because as much as he'd like to just continue his old human life, losing such large ties to his old life as his wife and now his child leaves him drifting, forcing himself to ask what sort of person does he want to be. It's still a really obvious retcon that sticks out like a sore thumb, but I think they did about as good a job as possible fixing this problem they'd written for themselves while using the fix to push a character in an interesting direction.

    I also like this retcon because it makes Helo-Athena a little more special, and I am always for anything that makes the Fighting Agathons the most special people ever.

  14. shoroko says:

    I had a lot of comments on this episode, apparently, but before that I wanted to link to something, which will probably give a lot of context to my Tory-defending. I had a friend who watched this while it aired, who was pretty critical of Tory's storyline; between the first and second halves of season 4, she posted a pretty fantastic fanfic that really outlined the issues she was having, and I know for me personally it was like a punch in the gut. I just can't watch the show without this in my mind anymore. I was waiting for it not to be spoilery/to ask her permission to link to it from here, and now that it's okay on both counts (though it may be a good idea to skip the comments, though as of this writing I don't think any are spoilery):

    In any case, it's: Confusion in the Body Politic; or, How to Lose Your Humanity in Ten Easy Steps.

    And on to this episode! It apparently seemed like things were taking a lot longer, as I seem rather impatient in this:

    Some Six needs to hurry the frak up and start a new storyline. Because I'm lazy and impatient and I only have half a season of this left and I'm ready for the "truth" and the destination and whatever. I objectively get that this floating around without much to go on is good, but … I don't care, I'm done with it. Really, hurry up, Six.

    (In case I'm not obvious – Six starts everything. Attack on the Colonies? Six starts it. Doubly, considering she's in the first scene, and then there's Caprica-Six telling Baltar before it happens. During the flight from the Cylons, Head!Six pretty much tells us everything that's going to happen before it does, from Hera to finding Kobol to the settlement on New Caprica. Gina initiates the Occupation and exodus from New Caprica by incidentally directing the Cylons there. Nataile gets us to the Cylon Civil War and the alliance with the humans. In conclusion: Harbinger of Death Kara Thrace ain't got nothing on Six.)

    Moving on from that – I find this jaded!smarmy!Gaeta really forced and unnecessary. The sad thing is, while I could have taken this change in character after he lost his leg, or after Earth, it's actually the webisodes that make me not like it. I found them to be ultimately really, really weak in terms of character motivation, and the fact that he was all normal and felicitous at the beginning of those but it's that sudden back story that turns him? I mean, why can't it be the soul-crushing experience of losing a limb or YOUR ONLY HOPE OF SURVIVAL? Why does it have to be a girl? (Look I have a pet peeve about this)

    Tyrol suddenly being all 'I'm a Cylon and now I'm going to represent all the Cylons!' amused me a lot. Even the anvilliciousness of the 'Do you need a chart?' line amused me. Because yes. We do.

    I've cut a bit out for various reasons, but yep, this was all pretty much how I felt watching this time. I'm a little mixed on Roslin's attitude now, though. While on the one hand, I obviously get it, I loved seeing her jog, and I'd agree that Adama's request is largely out of selfishness (in some ways, it reminds me of how Cain said Roslin looked as if someone "shot your dog" when she realized Adama would no longer be her partner in leading the human race), there's.. a whole lot of people in the Fleet who aren't getting any sort of break, even after all this. They may not all be as already close to death as she is, but many are probably one accident or attack away from it. I guess I feel like those in positions of power have some responsibility to do something, even if at the same time I think Zarek's being a hypocritical hack – after all, he bought Roslin's religious message as far as it would help him. I guess I'd like him more if he were at least a true believer in something.

    • chikzdigmohawkz says:

      Wow, that fic was awesome and heartbreaking, all at once.

    • bookyworm says:

      yep, Zarek is basically an opportunist.

    • Noybusiness says:

      That reminds me. I have issues with Jacob's recaps from Television Without Pity, but he did coin the phrase "Nataliation" (Natalie + retaliation).

    • notemily says:

      I don't think it's wrong of Roslin to want some time to be "normal," but I don't think she can have that AND the Presidency. Pick one. You want to jog around and not worry about the future of the fleet, someone else has to be President, because SOMEONE has to worry about the future of the fleet.

  15. NB2000 says:

    I get it, I get that the reveal about Hotdog being Nicky's father was pretty much the ONLY way that the writers could get themselves out of the corner they painted themselves into when they made Tyrol a Cylon. They had to work with what was already established and that didn't leave them with many options but it still makes me so angry that this is how it had to be. It paints Cally in an extremely negative light. I'll admit it does at least seem to tie in with her insisting "no pilots" when the question of who will take Nicky comes up in "A Day In The Life" but I still hate this reveal.

    Okay moving onto happier points: YAY BILL AND LAURA! EJO and Mary are just amazing throughout. The scene in the hallway is so well played by them. There's so much affection between them and they're so content in the final scene. Space parents are together yay!

    As much as I hate the storyline Cottle's handling of the reveal, and his continuing affection for Cally, is a nice touch. While it's still gruff there is at least some sensitivty to how he handles telling Tyrol about all this (at least compared to Ishay).

    • robin says:

      I think the problem for Cally is that they didn't clarify it enough. The writers have said that they didn't mean to imply that Cally cheated on Tyrol, but only that she slept with Hot Dog before they got together and then let Tyrol think the baby was his. (Still a lie, but not putting her in such a negative light.)

      • NB2000 says:

        ITA that they should have explained it better because as it stands it's really difficult to understand. Maybe I'm just not following the timing correctly but I can't match the "Slept with Hotdog just before she got together with Tyrol" with what we saw in Lay Down Your Burdens II and the Resistance webisodes. We're shown that she gets together with Tyrol and one year later is close to giving birth. I just…unless Nicky was overdue by a month or two then it doesn't seem to add up. I mean someone can correct me if I've got this wrong, and I hope someone can because right now the maths just make me more confused and cross about the whole thing.

        I'll agree that having it not outright cheating on him isn't as bad but it's still making her a liar to cover a plot hole.

        • bookyworm says:

          I don't know if it ever said when exactly they got together…there was that scene where she was all like "I love you" after he beat her up (right?) but he was so messed up and depressed at that point that it might have been a while before they actually got together.

          Also, I got the impression that the Cally/Hot dog thing was just a flingy accident.

  16. stellaaaaakris says:

    I pretty much had the exact opposite reactions as you. Oh, well.

    Tyrol's confusion about yours/ours/us/you was rather amusing. Personally, I would like a chart, Tigh. I think that could be helpful.

    I think Tyrol is truly Nicky's dad, but if anybody's going to share custody over Nicky with Tyrol, I think Hot Dog would be the best, as he seems among the more accepting of Cylons. During the "let's give Sharon a name so we don't confuse her with Boomer" ceremony, while all the others were giving playful suggestions that show they accept her and can joke around with her, he gave a real and thoughtful suggestion that was awesome. Plus he seemed genuinely apologetic and didn't want to hurt Tyrol. (Side note, do we know Hot Dog's first name? I'm under the impression his last name is Constanza. Also, he strikes me as a Jimmy.) And then he stayed in the sick bay with Nicky. I guess I just don't have any negative memories about Hot Dog, so he seems like a decent choice. (ETA: But that doesn't mean I enjoy the retcon and I do wish it didn't have to happen)

    Also like a hospital, I was rather uncomfortable watching this episode (Sorry, I'm rereading THG reviews and you brought up this line and it makes me chuckle at how unprepared you are – in one of the early chapters, you wonder if the books are going to be more violent than you thought. Oh, giggles). I don't know who I think is in the right or if everybody's correct to some degree. My head, it hurts. 🙁 I miss cheerful Feelix from Season 1, who did a funtastic dance with Boomer.

    But Roslin and Adama together was lovely. Her eyes sparkled pretty much every moment she was on screen this episode after throwing out her pills.

    • Peter says:

      It's Brendan, but I don't know from where I know that. I'm almost positive it's from season 1 somewhere

    • Noybusiness says:

      His first name is Brendan.

    • notemily says:

      I laughed at "Jimmy." The actor's real name is Bodie Olmos, which means he's the son of Edward JAMES Olmos, so maybe that's where you're getting the "Jimmy" vibe? 😉

      I always forget that Hot Dog is the one who comes up with "Athena."

      Also like a hospital bwahahahaha

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Pretty sure that's exactly where I got Jimmy from haha. It also probably had to do with a clip I saw of a show, I think it was Happy Endings, where a characters was all, "I like to call actors by the names they prefer, like Eddie Jimmy Olmos." And I think it just stuck. But I could have waited one more day and then there was the answer in The Oath. Oh well.

  17. chikzdigmohawkz says:

    Well, considering the fact that Gaeta started recruiting people for a mutiny right after Starbuck left the room, I'd say he confronted her in order to get her out of the way. Fun fact: the 'pity frak' line was ad-libbed.

    And as for Roslin – look, I understand that she needs a break, and I can't honestly say that I wouldn't react the exact same way, but that doesn't negate the fact that SHE IS THE PRESIDENT AND SHE IS NEGLECTING HER DUTIES. SHE WASN'T EVEN ELECTED, SHE WAS APPOINTED, AND NOW SHE'S NOT DOING HER JOB, AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I'M YELLING ABOUT THIS, BUT APPARENTLY I HAVE MANY ~*FEELINGS*~ ON THE MATTER.

    But I must admit that the shipper in me is very happy with the let's-have-the-spaceparents-be-unequivocally-canon-from-now-on scene.

    • bookyworm says:

      yeah, I agree with the Roslin bit. She's definitely one of my favorites, and one of the reasons is because she seems so humanized and developed. Meaning that sometimes I want her to run the world and sometimes I want to shake her. (This is one of the shakey times, because look, Zarek is going to take over your government if you don't stand up for yourself!)

    • Noybusiness says:

      And to make it clear what he was about in front of everyone.

    • notemily says:

      I completely agree with this. If she needs a break, she should step down. She's said that her time is limited anyway, and she's not taking her meds anymore, so she should just stop being President. Let someone who actually cares about the future be the leader of the fleet. (Just not Zarek.)

  18. kristinc says:

    I am sooooooooo uncomfortable with the whole "Nicky isn't Tyrol's kid" storyline. Sooooooooooooo uncomfortable y'all. Because you know what? Tyrol loved Cally and took care of her when she was pregnant. Tyrol was presumably there when Nicky was born. Tyrol loved Nicky, fed Nicky, went to Nicky's crib when he cried in the night, changed Nicky's diapers, cuddled Nicky. TYROL IS NICKY'S DADDY. NICKY IS TYROL'S SON. That does not change just because it turns out to have been someone else's genetic material in play years ago. That's gross and it reeks of children as property. Relationships are worth more than genetic material.

    In more pleasant news, my face about split in half from grinning when I saw how happy Tigh was about Caprica's pregnancy. He's honest to god happy! And he's not drinking! And he's happy! And oh my god the poor man has been through enough, just give him a little unalloyed joy like he's experiencing right now. I kind of want those two crazy kids to make it work.

    Roslin looks so glowing and lovely snuggling with Adama in bed.

    • notemily says:

      I agree with your first paragraph. Why does Hot Dog suddenly become Nicky's Dad? Presumably Nicky knows and recognizes TYROL as his Dad and wouldn't be too happy with a switch in Dads. It seems like they're both going to parent him, which I guess makes things easier on Tyrol since he won't be alone, but that still seems kind of weird. And at the very least it's going to be awkward.

      • kristinc says:

        Yeah, it's not necessarily terrible that Hot Dog wants (presumably) to get involved with parenting Nicky, especially since Tyrol doesn't have a co-parent anymore and it seems like that would be a really challenging situation to single parent in. But the way everyone acted like the revelation would ~zomg change everything~, the way they acted like it made him not Nicky's dad anymore, bugged the shit out of me.

        Naq bs pbhefr, gung'f rknpgyl jung frrzf gb unccra yngre: Avpxl fvzcyl qvfnccrnef pbzcyrgryl sebz Gleby'f yvsr nf sne nf jr pna gryy, nf vs ur jnf whfg unaqrq bire gb Ubg Qbt. Tbqqnzzvg, fubj, n puvyq vf abg n chccl! Fb tebff. Wrrm, vs cbbe Avpxl, cbbe Uren naq cbbe Xnlpr ner ng nyy ercerfragngvir vg frrzf hayvxryl gung gur Pbybavnyf jvyy unir n fvatyr fgnoyr crefba va gur arkg trarengvba.

    • notemily says:

      Also about Tigh, I still find Tigh/Caprica to be strange, but I think it's nice to see him being so happy about a kid when back in the day he and Ellen were like "good thing we never had kids, because we would suck at it!" or something. But now he's in a place in his life where he can actually get EXCITED about a child, which is a nice development.

  19. Maya says:

    How shall we celebrate Space Mommy and Daddy finally getting it on?

    [youtube oPu3XBSlJyk youtube]

    I have no idea if this has been posted before or not, but if it has, it certainly deserves to be posted again.


  20. robin says:


    I just re-watched a couple days ago and I still bounced in my seat and cheered at this part. I went back and find some of my original journal comments when this episode first aired:


    I’ve always hated Zarek from the beginning of the series. He’s very well constructed, well written, but that’s why I hate him so much. I recognize his type. He hurts me to watch because he’s something you learn about when you get interested in any kind of social activism – you have to learn that just because someone professes noble beliefs & says all the right things, it doesn’t mean they’re a good person. There are always those people who take advantage of other people’s feelings of oppression and fear, and use the situation to grasp at power and taint the cause. It sickens me.

    And I love that Adama never forgets what kind of man Zarek is, because people on this show can and do change, but Zarek NEVER DOES. Zarek can profess all he wants that he’s just Standing Up For The People, but he’s really ultimately looking out for himself and enjoying being (in)famous.

    This is the guy who became a famous public figure by blowing up a government building and didn’t care about all the people who died in it. This is the guy who was willing to set up a prison massacre, who conspired with another to kill yet again in S1’s “Colonial Day” and then in that S2 Kobol episode. At first I hoped that maybe he’d really learned something from the New Caprica experience, but then he takes it upon himself to create his little secret trials. And now once again he’s taking advantage of others’ legitimate fears to stroke his own ego – except that ego is his downfall in this case, Adama can take advantage of that selfishness. If he really *believed* and was truly *self-sacrificing* then it wouldn’t matter that he’d be revealed as just another crooked politician, he wouldn’t have given the ship up. But Zarek doesn’t honestly give a shit about the ship at ALL. He cares about his reputation as ~glorified revolutionary~ more.

    • kristinc says:


      And if Zarek wasn't such a sneaky SOB with plenty of unethical filth on his conscience Adama's bluff would never have worked, which is my favorite part. Serve you right, you slimy snake in the grass.

      • notemily says:

        The best cons always involve the mark in the con, right? So he can't go to the police because that would mean exposing his own corrupt role. Love it.

    • notemily says:

      I will join you on Team I Hate Zarek And Always Have Hated Zarek. He's such a slimy bastard.

  21. Noybusiness says:

    I love that Head Six calls Baltar out for blasphemy in the Extended Version and he's all, "You're not a human or a Cylon and you don't know what we're going through, so don't even."

    Ron Moore both wrote and directed this ep.

    A Chicago Tribune interview with Moore reveals (and they really should have *said* this) that Cally didn't cheat; she slept with Hotdog before getting together with Galen, and the Chief popped the question really fast.

    • Peter says:

      Thank you for pointing this out. I'm definitely more okay with it now. I still don't like the fact that it's a retcon, but it's definitely a necessary retcon, and it definitely makes more sense for Cally's character. She would never cheat on Chief, but after he beat her, I could totally see her exploring other options before truly committing to a relationship with him, even if she'd already "forgiven" him.

      Just coincidentally, are you referring to Maureen Ryan's interviews? I think I read all of them, but I guess this detail never sunk in 🙂

      • NB2000 says:

        Aaaaah, see I'd always assumed that their relationship covered the whole of the time skip. That they'd been together the whole year, which is why I had trouble with this whole "not cheating" idea. If they didn't get together until a couple of months into the year then the timeline makes more sense.

        That's a complicated way of saying: Thank You! I'm less confused about what the writers were going for now.

  22. @LizatLAX says:

    The infamous "frak chart'" from the cast/crew scrapbook appeared before this episode aired and it shows this hookup on it. I remember everyone being all "Cally and Hotdog? wait…what?? WTF??" and then we all realized why. Then everyone lol'd.

    Though I don't and have never thought it was a necessary retcon. Hera could still be the Shape of Things to Come and be special; she could lead the way for those to follow, but that didn't mean she had to be the ONLY one..

  23. leighzzz31 says:

    Gaeta, what, what, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I legit yelled this at my screen. I CANNOT WITH YOUR CHOICES, GAETA. CANNOT.

    Nicky not being Tyrol's kid? I could almost see the writers frantically trying to cover up loose ends/unwanted plot points. A genuinely bad moment for BSG, I think.

    Roslin running through the Galactica is one of the best scenes ever – I loved everything that simple scene chooses to be. Also, Adama/Roslin? Need I say more?

    Lastly, I am actually enjoying Caprica/Tigh's story, which is unexpected. They're my favourite charcacters and they really fit together in every scene they're in. And they seem HAPPY, which is incredibly rare on this show.

    • notemily says:

      "Nicky not being Tyrol's kid? I could almost see the writers frantically trying to cover up loose ends/unwanted plot points. A genuinely bad moment for BSG, I think."

      I think the cracks start to show in the second half of season four, and I don't know if you can blame the writer's strike or if they just genuinely didn't know how to pull everything together, but it annoys me.

  24. John Small Berries says:

    Mark, I've been reading your Hunger Games reviews, since I've now actually read the books, and it's funny to be bouncing back and forth between those earlier ones, where you're utterly (and quite vocally) bored by romantic plots, and these, in which you've become (at least in regards to some characters) a genuine shipper.

    Also, I want everything you read from now on to end each chapter on a cliffhanger, because it was so amusing.

  25. Shaylani says:

    If there was no Head Six in your episode, then you didn't see the extended version. The extended version of this episode really adds quite a bit to understanding the Baltar storyline from this point forward. Also, Tyrol doesn't come off so badly in his scene with Hot Dog in the hospital room.

    • Noybusiness says:

      Yeah, I don't have Netflix (what Mark uses) but it looks like it doesn't have the extended episodes except Pegasus and Razor. Unsurprising, because the others are obscurata in comparison. Mark really should download the extended cut of this episode (I put a link in the last review) and 4.18 and the finale.
      I know he's planning to watch the extended finale since he talked about liveblogging in a Hobbit review.

    • notemily says:

      Can anyone just summarize the extended scenes? I couldn't find a recap of them anywhere and I'd rather just know what happens.

  26. tanbarkie says:

    OK, yes Tyrol's story is all tragic and sad and stuff. But this still made me laugh:



    Mmm…. hot dogs.


  27. Noybusiness says:

    I don't have Netflix (what Mark uses) but it looks like it doesn't have the extended episodes except Pegasus and Razor. Unsurprising, because the others are obscurata in comparison. Mark really should download the extended cut of this episode (I put a link in the last review) and 4.18 and the finale.
    I know he's planning to watch the extended finale since he talked about liveblogging in a Hobbit review.

  28. Suzannezibar says:


    Can’t remember if I heard this in the commentary for this ep or somewhere else…but apparently Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell believe that this scene is not the first time their characters have gotten it on…knowledge of this makes me so happy 😀

    • threerings13 says:

      Yes, it was in the commentary. RDM says he thinks this was their first time, but says the actors will tell you they slept together on New Caprica and have been since then.

  29. Brian Fowler says:

    Outside of Buffy, Veronica Mars, and Angel, there has never been television better than the first few episodes of season 4.5 of BSG. I really mean that. This is where business really picks up.

  30. akacj18 says:

    take this moment, and then prepare to have you brain DESTROYED.

  31. Zozo says:

    From Battlestar Wiki: “Fans of the Roslin/Adama relationship were likely well satisfied with the scene at the episode’s conclusion.”


  32. Noybusiness says:

    Oops, my bad. The one with Caprica, Athena and Helo at Baltar's congregation is a "Sometimes a Great Notion" deleted scene. Got it mixed up until I remembered it wouldn't make scene in the same episode as the scene with Head Six (which is in the Extended A Disquiet Follows My Soul).

  33. notemily says:

    Did Adama fall asleep in his reading chair? Heh. Adama reminds me of my dad sometimes. Maybe because he's everyone's dad on this show. Space Dad.

    I really wish we saw more insight into Caprica Six's thought process. I still don't get why she and Tigh are together. This is so weird. What about Ellen! What about Baltar!

    Adama reminds me of my dad again when he's talking to the reporters and he's like "this conversation is over." I like how Zarek threatens him and he threatens Zarek right back.

    "Unlike certain other people"? What was that a reference to? I feel like I'm missing something huge here.

    Gaeta's like "there's no need to call me 'sir,' Professor." wait, wrong fandom.

    Blarg, I think the retcon of Nicky not actually being Tyrol's kid is dumb. I feel like they wanted to make Hera MOAR SPESHUL by being the only Cylon/Human child EVAR, so they had to make Nicky not half-Cylon. But… she'd still be the first.


    Gaetaaaaaaa. Starbuuuuuck. STOP FIGHTING KIDS

    I hate to hear Starbuck call Gaeta a "gimp" and a "cripple." That's not okay. I understand her anger, though. "Look, I just burned my own dead body, what the frak is your problem."

    OK, I laughed at the "pity frak" line.

    "Let's talk." Oh, I do NOT like where this is going.

    When Laura starts jogging down the hall in a baggy sweatshirt, all I could think was "she's a maaaaniac, MAAAANIAC on the floor!"

    Hee, Adama brushes his teeth when Roslin is coming over.

    I think if Laura wants to live and be happy and not take her drugs and ignore the needs of the fleet, then SHE NEEDS TO RESIGN. Jesus christ. It's fine if YOU don't care about the future because you expect to die soon, but the fleet does need a leader who cares about the future.

    I always feel like Gaius is just saying stuff that sounds good but means nothing. Maybe that's the point though.

    I'm not sure why Hotdog suddenly has to step up and Be A Father just because it's biologically his kid. Seems like Chief is going to do some of it, but it's weird. Maybe they can have a sitcom. Two and a half Cylons. No, wait.



    omg they are in bed together omg

    I like that she is shown completely bald in bed with Adama because it shows that Adama still finds her attractive with no hair. <3. This is important to me. Even the fact that two older adults are shown in a loving and sexual relationship is rare enough, but to show a woman being bald AND chronically ill AND sexual is pretty awesome.

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