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Monday, January 23, 2006
TV Round-Up
Battlestar Galactica: Ephiphanies
I've been thinking about this week's episode of Battlestar Galactica pretty much since it faded to black last Friday evening. This week's episodes and its events--well, one event in particular--have been rolling around in my conscious and subconsious mind all weekend. If you think about it and you saw the episode, you probably won't have to guess which plot point I had a big issue with.

Let me warn you that if you've taped the latest episode or somehow haven't seen it yet, this is your last chance to turn back.

OK, still with me?

So, this week it's an episode focusing of Roslin and her illness. Over the course of this season, we've seen that Roslin's attempts to hold the cancer at bay or postpone the inevitable are slowly, but sadly failing. The whole cancer fight takes on a more bittersweet note in light of the affection that now-Admiral Adama showed her in the waning moments of last week's episode. It seems as if this is the exact wrong time for Roslin to die--things are moving with Adama, she is comfortable with her role as president and she's learning how to wield that power effectively. She's become the leader the colonies need and since we all know Baltar is one make-out session with Six away from going completely crazy, her dying now and putting Baltar in charge would be a really, really bad idea. But, unfortunately, life doesn't always work out like that and as we start out, Roslin has entered into the last few days of her life..

It's interesting to see that in her final few days of life, Roslin makes some hard choices. She makes the executive decision that allowing Helo and Boomer's human/Cylon child to be born wouldn't be in the best interests of the fleet and orders the pregnancy terminated. We also see flashbacks to her life on Caprica before the attack when she put the president of the colonies in an awkward position by negotiating with the teacher's union (apparently they're a bit more violent there than they are here, though give our teachers a few more years and they may be there) and seeing Baltar with Six, making out on the town square. Now, this does raise a huge continuity error in that Batlar and Six were hanging out at his house on the day of the attack, but I do wonder if this was Roslin's memory putting things together for her. We've seen she has a natural mis-trust of Baltar, so it could be her mind's way of piecing together information to re-affirm or support what she thinks or feels in her gut--that Baltar is up to more than he lets on. Indeed, her note to him that he opens and reads confirms this (kind of a moment out of classic Trek's "The Tholian Web" in a way).

Ironically, that big honkin' continuity error isn't what bugged me so much and kept my mind pondering this episode all weekend long. You'd think that would be what would have me jumping up and down, declaring "Shennanigans!" over and over at Ron Moore, but it wasn't.

No, what had me delcaring "Shennaingans" is the magical cure for Roslin. Turns out the Cylon-baby's blood has some element to her that can magically cure Roslin. I was so just thrown by this development that I decided to download and listen to Ron Moore's podcast before I typed up my thoughts on this episode. (I tend to not listen to them until after I write up my thoughts to avoid any influence or bias of others about the episode). In his podcast, Moore addresses this--he says he doesn't feel as if they cheated but that this was earned. I'm glad he does because I really don't. Maybe I need to go back and watch season two again, but it doesn't seem like this magic cure out of left field was really all that well established within the show's continuity. Which is a shame, since Galactica usually does a great job of setting things up like this. Don't get me wrong--I did not want to see Roslin die, but I really feel as if this was a last minute, out of left field way to cure her cancer. I won't say resolve the storyline because I think we've got some more potential here--since now that Roslin is not going to die now, what does this do to the prophecies of a dying leader she's embraced? Ron Moore addresses this question is his podcast a bit so I have a feeling it's going to come up as the season progresses.

I hate to say it, but that part marred what was, otherwise, a very good episode of Galactica. The new Cylon sympathisers in the fleet were interesting and Baltar's continued descent into crazy-town was nicely done. Interesting note of dialogue: mental Six comes back after being gone for "several weeks" I loved seeing the scenes where Six is grabbing his tie in the hallways in Galactica as wandering crew members go by, giving Baltar funny looks for acting so out of it. I have to say that when the truth about him does come out, there's going to be a lot of head slapping and people saying, "I should have known becuase..."

And to show how continuity can be done right, we have the return of the nuclear warhead into play. Baltar sends it to Pegasus Six, who is now leading the rebel cause on board Cloud Nine. Apparently, Baltar wants to be appreciated and have the respect of his peers, which he doesn't. Even Starbuck just used him as a substitute for Lee back in "Kobol's Last Gleaming." Seems as if the only people who have embraced Baltar and strokes his ego (among other things) are the Cylons. Hence why he seems to find himself more and more compelled to betray humanity and help out the enemy.

So, apart from one glaring thing, the rest of this episode was pretty darned good. I have a strange feeling we're setting up some things for the end of the season--esp. the plotline of the movement within the fleet to embrace the Cylons and stop the war.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/23/2006 10:19:00 AM | |
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