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Monday, August 01, 2005
TV Round-Up: Sci Fi Friday
Battlestar Galactica: Fragged
This week's theme: People thrust into leadership roles in areas outside of their expertise, comfort zone or strengths. The examples: Tigh and Crashdown.

Last week, we saw Tigh fairly well flourish under pressure in being the guy you'd want to step in for Adama when the Cylons attack the ship and try to destroy it from within. This week, Tigh is probably the last person you'd want in the big chair as the Quorum of 12 comes on board Galactica and begins demanding answers and access to Roslin. Meanwhile, the press is clamoring for their rights and access to Roslin and Tigh doesn't see that he should have to deal with either of them. He should be able to walk in, bark orders and walk away...or better yet, just ignore them all until they go away. But, alas, this does not happen and Tigh is put further and further under the microscope, causing him to hit the bottle and then declare martial law (yeah, thanks SciFi for ruining that little twist ending with your accursed previews!). Watching as Tigh slowly loses control of things and every decision he makes seems to backfire on him was great stuff. I loved seeing him decide the time has come to discredit Roslin by allowing the press and the Quorum to see her ranting about in the brig under the withdrawal symptoms she's facing. Indeed, for Tigh to listen to Ellen's advice on political leadership and think this might be a good solution to all his problems (everyone sees Roslin as a bit loopy, thus discrediting her, backing up the Old Man and getting them all off his back) shows just how totally out of his depth in this area Tigh is. Tigh keeps falling back on things he's comfortable with--and it's apparent he's very comfortable with the rigid, nature of the military lifestyle where under any circumstances, you follow a specific code or procedure. Tigh is a good leader but he doesn't have the diplomatic skills that Adama does, nor does he seem to have the ablity to think outside the rigid code of conduct that Adama does. So, Tigh is left in a situation that rapidly escalates, cuasing more stress and him to hit the bottle that much harder as an escape. I can only imagine how Adama is going to react whenever he wakes up and assumes command of the fleet again...if there is a command left after Tigh gets done with things.

Meanwhile, on Kobol, we have Crashdown, who has been put in a position he's not used to. And so, he falls back on his training--to the point that he has a very sound strategy to take out the Cylon's rocket luancher from a training standpoint. Indeed, if it were a video game, it might be a good idea to try it this way. But as Baltar points out, the theory and the reality are at odd with each other. Or to put it Baltar's way "This is frakking nuts!" The plan makes no sense in that you've got a majority of the assualt team that have never fired a gun before and aren't trained as soldiers. Crashdown is so uncomfortable with the idea that people might question his orders or selling the idea to the team or taking input when the plan is sound but nuts beyond belief that he puts a gun to Kally's head when she refuses to carry out the orders given to her. Crashdown refuses to listen to Tyrol try and take him aside and help him save face with the crew he has and realize that this plan is probably not gonna work so well. It ends up costing him his life when Baltar shoots him, thus becoming a man in Six's opinion.

I loved Six's manipulation of Baltar here. That in order to grow up and become a man, he has to make a hard choice..in this case, he has to kill a leader in order to save the rest of the crew from a certain death at Cylon hands. Or was Six referring to Baltar's lying to cover up that he killed Crashdown. And Tyrol goes along with it as we get a look from Kally to the both of them. Is this going to come back to haunt our heroes? And is this the next step on the path toward Baltar's slow destruction? Has he made the next step to the dark side as it were?

Another thing that interests me is the role of Adama here. Without him there as a referee or a moral compass, we see a lot of people spiralling out of control. Adama as the moral center of the fleet is an interesting idea, even more so now that Roslin has spoken up and confirmed her percieved role in the prophecy of the gods. Will Adama wake up to find this role gone as well, given to Roslin?

I've said if before and I say it again--I am loving this show.

Stargate SG1: Origins
Night and day difference between this week's episode and last week's--despite having much of the same settings and plot threads in motion. This one felt like we had some intensity to the plots slowly unfolding on screen. Daniel discovers a new race called the Ori who are religious zealots..they promote their way of worship as absolute and correct and send out zealots to convert or kill the worlds they encounter. And then they find out--hey, there's a whole planet full of people who've never heard of you guys and your religion...thus setting up the new threat for the season. Gee, this plotline isn't ripped from the headlines is it?

Meanwhile, I'm not quite sure why chucking the communication device through the Stargate deactives it...I mean other than the script couldn't think of any other good way to get our heroes back home. And despite being three episodes into the new season, I am not sure if there's been any movement to get the band back together for future missions.

But we have a new enemy...so I guess one step down, four more to go.

Stargate: Atlantis: Runner

In case you hadn't figured it out, I'm going best to worst this week with my wrap up.

Which brings us to Atlantis.

Watching "Runner" I kept trying to figure out what it was that was bugging me about this episode. And then I figured it out--McKay. Honestly, is there a more useless character on any show today than McKay. Or maybe it was this script that reduced him to little more than a one-note annoyance. I think that may be it...hearing Rodney whine about everything got old really fast (if I wanted whining, I'd go over to Gracelyn and Davis's on a day they hadn't taken a nap!). I know it's supposed to be amusing and it can be..but Rodney has shown some self-awarness in the past that made it more fun. Here he's a clueless clod and it didn't come off as believeable.

In fact, all the characters seemed off this week. Even Ford who you can write up as "possessed by the Wraith."

And then we've got the new guy who is basically playing the same game as we saw in DS9's "Captive Pursuit" or some of the Voyager episodes about the Hirogen. You tag a prey and then have the bad guys pursue it. Well, the thing is--why do the Wraith bother with this? Seems like a useless waste of time to me--but then again, what do I know?

Now, I did like the conflict between Shepard and Caldwell about the fate of Ford. But those scenes were in the beginning and end, with a lackluster plot sandwiched in between. All in all, not a spectacular episode mainly because it was more action driven than it needed to be and all the characters were just a hair off this week.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/01/2005 12:09:00 PM | |
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