One of the things I've come to love about the re-imagining Battlestar Galactica
is that every action on the show has consequences. There have been epic storylines on this show and situations that stretch the characters to their limits, but some of the most satisfying epiosdes of the show have been those that dealt with the fall-out of those epic storylines and big events.
Last week, we had the big event--Adama and company rescuing the human colonists from the Cylon occupation on New Caprica. But instead of just now continuing on the quest to find Earth and escape the Cylons, the show takes an hour to deal with the effects of just what happened.
And, for the most part, it is not pretty.
It's interesting that now with the Cylons not there as the main enemy, how quickly humanity turns on each other. I loved how the circle that served as judge, jury and executioner for the alleged Cylon collaborators took the moral high ground, justifying what they did because they were on the "winning side." You have to recall that just three weeks ago, Tigh was approving the use of suicide bombers to try and take out Baltar. Tigh said there were costs to everything in war and sometimes people die. He was willing to sacrifice the innocent then to further his cause. But yet now he looks down on those who took a different method to survival than he chose.
I think a lot of this may be influenced by his experiences last week--not just having to poison Ellen but also the fact that Adama got all the credit for rescuing the fleet while Tigh was left to obscurity. In the war, Tigh has lost a lot, from his eye to his wife and possibly more. As Ron Moore said in a podcast last year, when it hits the fan, Tigh is someone you want on your side, but he's maybe not cut out to be the same kind of leader Adama is. For Tigh, there is only black and white. He's not willing to consider shades of gray as much as Adama is.
It's also interesting how is in on the circle--it goes all the way up to Tom Zarak, the acting president of the colonies. The scene with Zarak telling Roslin and Adama what he did and why he did it may have been the highlight of an episode that was full of highlights. It does make me wonder something--will Roslin accept Zarak as her vice-president now? Can she take back that promise now? And if she does, how will Zarak react? Zarak has become a supporter of Roslin, but could easily go back to being her biggest critic and a thorn in her side. I'd like to think the experience of being on New Caprica maybe helped Zarak seek a bigger picture than his only interests and gain, but I'm not sure. He may see it short term, but I bet it won't be long before old habits return.
And it was not a good week for couples on this show. Starbuck and Anders look on the outs and it appears that Six is breaking up with Baltar. I loved the scenes of Baltar being held prisoner on the Cylon basestar as his fate was decided. I found the parallels of Baltar and Gaeta's fates being decided by some type of appointed group compelling. Though I did question more if Gaeta would make it to episode's end and then we'd find out later that he was innocent. I'm not sure that isn't too dark a place for this show to go though.
And then we have Roslin's first decision as the new president. She pardons everyone in the fleet. At first, it seemed like an easy out to me, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It really was the only way to hopefully bring the fleet back together and move them forward to the future. Otherwise, everyone will continue in-fighting and turning on each other. And the real threat lies from without with the Cylons. And after four months under the rule of the Cylons, I'd bet everyone there needed a little forgiveness--some more than others.
That said, there are still some huge lingering questions. What is the chain of command like now? We've got a lot of people who are now used to their positions of power in the show and that could be an interesting clash in the coming weeks.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/30/2006 11:02:00 AM