Posts Tagged ‘blogging the battlestar’

Find out what Kelly took away from this episode here:

I didn't like this episode, mostly because I hate how manipulative and destructive Ellen Tigh is.

So there is mistrust among the leaders.  The Cylon Detector is up and running and Baltar is ready to start testing.  Adama and Roslin have this awkward and slightly joking discussion over who should go first.  Adama looses the skirmish and his test begins.  And then he starts acting secretively.  Roslin finds out he's halted his test and asked for another to be tested, a mysterious "Ellen".  She starts trying to find out what the hell is going on, and her mistrust of Adama grows.  The words of Leoben are taking root.  Perhaps he is a cylon and is running interference.

Turns out he's located Saul's estranged wife Ellen on another ship, and is working on re-uniting them, but wants to make sure she is who she says she is.

Ellen is a drunken hussy.

No other way to put it. 
Saul started drinking because of her infidelity and her wanton ways. 

She even flirts with other men in front of him.  However he holds on and loves her, and is so glad she's back.

Turns out the test says she's not a cylon, but that being said, she's still such a destructive person, I can't imagine her presence is going to be good.

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Kelly thinks this of the episode.

I think that this is a fascinating episode where we are forced to look the things we believe. We, in a journey with Starbuck and Roslin, are finding our assumptions challenged, and severe cognitive dissonance is created.

So a Cylon clone is discovered, and claims that there is a nuke on board somewhere in the fleet.  Starbuck, since Adama thinks she's a real hardass, is sent to 'question' him.  She's not nice about the questioning either.  It involves torture, and the whole time she throws in his face what a machine he is.  How his self preservation programming should kick in.  This is all juxtaposed with this 'man' who is beaten, bruised, bleeding and broken.  Instead of acting Cylon like he  begins to quote scripture at Kara.  "All this has been before.  All will be again."  He tells her of her destiny, reminds her of her childhood and it's pain.  He tels her she has a role to play.  He, Leoben, gets under her skin, and Starbuck can't shake it.  Much though she doesn't want to, there is a part of her that is beginning to believe that there is more to the Cylons than programming, that maybe they have a connection to something she doesn't. After his death Kara finds herself searching for her long hidden idols of the 'Lords of Kobol' and says a prayer for Leoben's soul, asking that he have peace and be watched over.

The other place in this episode where this is evident is in Laura Roslin's life.  The medicine she's taking for her cancer is giving her haucinations and dreams.  She dreams very vividly of Leoben before she even meets him, and therefore feels the need to confront him herself.  Leoban uses the encounter to sew discord, and tries to convince Roslin that Admiral Adama is a Cylon.  She orders him out of the airlock, and his actions mimic exactly the dream that she had, and Roslin is forced to stare into the posibility that she is the fulfliment of prophecy that she isn't sure she believes in. 

The other noteworthy point of this episode is to point out that Gaius is just exactly himself.  Out to save himself.  He doesn't reveal that Sharon is a Cylon because the Six in his head convinces him that it is too risky.  Seriously Gaius.  Head out of Ass please.  It shouldn't be too hard, you are a genius after all.

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Six Degrees of Separation from what?
We all know this game.  Most have played it with Kevin Bacon.  How can we link anyone to anyone else in six steps or less. As in; you read this blog, I am co blogging Battlestar with Kelly (who's take is here), who met Jon Stewart, who was in Playing by heart with Jay Mohr, who was in Picture Perfect with Kevin Bacon.
So.  What are the places or degrees of separation in this episode? 
Clearly one of the places of separation is between Gaius and God.  Gaius believes in his own genius.  He believes he should survive.  He believes he should be first. Gaius is really all that is bad about humanity.  He's the self preservation at the expense of others we all wish we didn't have. He's the "me first" that even the most altruistic of us have tried to crucify.  He's he center of his own universe, and is unwilling to be unseated, but it's happening.  By Hook or by Crook Gaius is invaded by Six who is dedicated to God.  One degree.  Gaius is going to encounter God.
Then there is the connection between the Six in Gaius's head, and the Six that manifests in real life.  It seems like they both share an awareness, even though one is clearly out to maipulate Gaius and the other to Manipulate his death, and the end of the Cylon detection program.
Then lets look at the degrees between the two Sharons.  Boomer is freaking out because of the blackouts she's having and the end of her relationship with Tyrol.  Mostly life sucks for her because of what she's afraid might be true, but she doesn't really know.  The other Sharon is fine with Being a Cylon, and is reveling in the fact that she's fulfiling her task so well and making Helo love her.
The Cylon Raider is connected too.  Look at the way Sharon strokes, carresses, sings to, and Understands it intuitively. It is both Flesh and Machine.  One degree from the "skin jobs" but also, just a few steps away from Humanity. 
Starbuck in Hospital is connected to Saul Tigh.  I think the two of them are closer than they'd like to admit.  They hate the falseness they see in each other, they hate the carelessness they see in each other, and they hate that they can both see the brokeness they both carry.  They can send each other over the edge, and this episode is one of the few times that they actually work in each others favor.
One of the biggest journeys is found in the question of God/Gods. Most of the people have a plethora of gods they believe in.  The Lords of Kobol etc.are connected to humanity who are the 'parents' of the Cylons who have established Conciousness, and now are preaching about one overarching God. What's the point they're making?  Who are the God's versus who is God?
Six degrees of separation. 
How they're all connected, and what keeps them apart.  So Close, and yet So Far.

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This episode starts with a bang, literally.  A Cylon (of the Doral line) blows himself up aboard Galactica. It's only Tigh's quick thinking that saves Adama's life.  The fallout from all this is that it is revealed to the fleet that Cylons now look like Humans. This stirs up everything.  It's bad enough that people hate the cylons so vehemently, but now they're living in the constant fear that the person next to them is also a hidden enemy.  It's opening up the rifts between different people groups, long held rivalries between colonies, and hidden prejudices.
Adama decides that something has to be done to bring a rational voice to the situation. Find a person/thing to blame, to cool the temperature down so to speak. He commissions an independant tribunal.
Against this are two loves stories, both involving Boomer/Sharon.  On the ship, Boomer has an ilicit tryst with Chief Tyrol (whom she's been forbidden to see.  Minor Spoiler: odd isn't it, that this is a 'forbidden' relationship in more than one way? ). This tryst opened the door, litterally, for Doral to get where he needed to to set the explosion. More and more you just get the feeling that this relationship is seriously doomed.  And you wonder when are they both going to just wake up to reality?
The other relationship, on the surface of Caprica, has Helo trying to save Sharon. It is including quite the discussion of love.  Apparently it is very important to the Cylons that Helo love Sharon.  All actions on their part are done to try to cause this to happen.  Which makes me wonder WHY?  What's love got to do with it?  Especially since everything the Cylons have done to this point seem to be working in the opposite direction of love.
So the Tribunal gets underway and you find that Chief Tyrol's staff all love him and will do anything to cover for him having been with Sharon. No one seem to suspect them, not even the tribunal.  They are looking for bigger fish.  They're trying to prove a conspiracy that goes all the way to Adama.
Adama pulls rank, and shuts the tribunal down, calling it a witch hunt, but in the end someone must take the blame. So one of Tyrol's crew who obviously lied to cover for him gets sent to the brig.  Tyrol tries to come clean about it, but Adama tell him "What I can’t do is I can’t let someone who wears this uniform get up on the witness stand and lie under oath. And that’s what your man did. He either lied the first time or he lied the second time. And it doesn’t matter. He’s guilty, and he’ll pay the price. You? You’ll pay a different price. You’ll have to walk out on that hangar every day knowing that one of your men is in the brig because you couldn’t keep your fly zipped. You are the most experienced non-commissioned officer we have left. You keep my planes flying. I need my planes to fly." This drives me nuts.  First of all the idea that we always need to blame someone else. Adama couldn't allow himself to take his own responsibility so someone else bore the brunt.  Tyrol too took the situation so lightly that it wasn't a problem for his crew to lie for him. When is that ever right? And then it become ok to allow someone else to take the blame because the real culprit is not as expendable?  Whatever!
What I do like is that Tyrol took this to heart and very coldly broke things off with Sharon.  It's clear he learned his lesson and bears on himself the brunt of the guilt for the 'crime'. Sad though, because you see this is a man who deeply feels the loss of Boomers love.  However he is now closer to the truth of Boomers true nature.

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Kelly's take on this episode.
So instead of trying very hard to summarize each episode I've decided that Instead I'm going to start talking about what I loved and what the episode made me think about. 
This episode is really Starbuck's story, and while I enjoyed it, it's the storms that raged on the periphery that I enjoyed more. 
Can you imagine what is going on in Adama's head?  Here is the woman who is like a daughter to him, who has just confessed that she is responsible for the death of his favorite son, who's face he can't stand the sight of right now, who has just gone missing, possibly is dead. This is the man that has been the most 'rational' and least 'emotional' the entire series, and here he is fighting everything, even the odds, to try and rescue her.  He tries to justify it, and then just shuts everyone out with cold rage.  We're going to find her.  That's it.  I can't believe the range of emotions he must have been going through.  He fought harder for her than he did to make sure his own son was ok, after the attacks. 
Surprisingly Apollo is the only one who's totally with him on this.  The father and son, united to save one woman, arguably the biggest thorn in thier collective sides.
I loved that this allowed the President the upper hand.  She became her most presidential to date when she tells them in no uncertain terms to "Clear Your Heads!" She reminds them that the cost of this one life was too much to pay.
The other story in the background that I really enjoyed is the story of Helo and Sharon on Caprica.  They've found a safe place with meds and stores that they need, beneath a cafe/greasy spoon.  It's clear that Helo is falling for Sharon, and in the morning he goes to make breakfast upstairs.  He pops things into the toaster, and then notices that 'Toasters' (the slang names for Cylons) are patroling the area.  He see's the reflection in the metal of the toaster, and then the Cylon is alerted to his presence by the real toaster doing its job.  That was just Class to use things that way :)  Poor Helo, he doesn't know that he's the rat in the middle of a control experiment.  The Cylons are just playing him Every Which Way, and his life depends on him making the choice they want him to.  I can identify with that.  Poor man!
Then there is Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace on the inhabitable surface she crash landed on.  I love her attitude.  She's annoyed, and really pissed to not be able to figure out a way to make it, especially since her knee is fracked.  She 'prays' the way I do sometimes

“Lords, Kara Thrace here. O2 is running out, could use a little help here.”  Pause “No? Ok. Just thought I’d ask”

Yeah that's how I do it.  "need a little help here." or "could have done without that".  The prayers of a person that has a hard time trusting that anyone or anything is going to help them make it through, that eventually it's going to be all on them. That's part of why I like Starbuck (and Buffy, but that's another story. One we'll eventually blog)

Then Kara Finds a way.  The Cylon she shot down crashed too.  but this is interensting.  She makes an interesting discovery.  Cylon Raiders are half metal half biology.  This "hell of a flying maching", this "toaster" is more like humans then they realized.  This is very portentious as to the ongoing journey of the humans understanding the Cylons.

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            Kelly’s take on this is here.

            In this episode we find out the truth behind Starbuck’s bravado, and it’s done in a beautiful way.  We have images of what’s happening currently juxtaposed with stories of the past. Sometimes very beautifully. 

            The story starts with the celebration of Flat Top’s 1000th landing, something that is celebrated among the fleet, and we all know in a time of upheaval, tradition is very important.  It helps us cling to a semblance of normalcy.

            So Apollo and Starbuck are preparing Flat Top’s helmet with red paint, and are joking and laughing, and paint spill on the floor.  Into this highly portentous scene comes Adama, the only one who remains ‘paint’ free.  So already we’re asking the questions  Who’s blood is on the hands of the people in the room here.  We know that Apollo carries with him the death of the people on the Olympic Carrier, and are beginning to learn of the ‘blood’ on Starbuck’s psyche, and begin to wonder what it is that Admiral Adama is responsible.

            While this is all happening, on the flight deck there is an equipment failure and a drone goes off, killing a number of the Pilots, including Flattop.   This is where the stories start layering. 

            You begin to see the funeral’s of the dead pilots intertwined with another funeral, Zac Adama’s funeral.  You see Bill Adama meeting his son Zac’s fiancée, Starbuck, for the first time.  You see him begin to take her in, cling to her, as she is the last connection to his lost son.  You see her in a much more calm, tame, together fashion.  You realize she’s not always been the hard, crazy woman she is now.  And you begin to see why.  It’s clear she loved Zac.  He haunts her. Even as she’s playing poker she is stroking her lip, smoking, touching her ear, all in remembrance of intimate times with Zac.  She misses him acutely.

            Due to the death of the pilots the need to train new becomes apparent.  Adama asks Starbuck to train new ones, and she flunks all the options on the first day. Adama talks with his son Apollo as to why this might be and Lee drops a big hint that there is something deeper, only to realize that his father has no idea the burden Kara bears.  Adama brings Kara in to get the truth, and Starbuck finally confesses.  She passed Zac in Basic Flight, even though he had no business being in the cockpit of a plane.  She passed him, because she loved him, and he wanted to be a pilot so badly because it was what his father wanted.  She passed him, and it lead directly into his death while flying.

            Adama, the ‘Old Man’ as he’s affectionately called by his crew, is suddenly faced with the perceived betrayal of the one he loves more than almost anyone.  The one he thought of as a daughter.  He tells Starbuck to “leave while she still can” and do her job with the new pilots.

.           This is very much like the situation faced with the Cylons.  Starbuck is the Daughter and yet the Enemy, the destroyer of life.  And this is just like the Cylons, Humanities children, and also their destruction.  The parallel is awesome.  It’s amazing how you can face into a situation right in front of you, but can justify a different approach with someone perceived as a threat.   

This whole story was bracketed with a training exercise that went awry when Cylons showed up.  Kara’s amazing flying saved the day, but is leaving her spiriling down on to the face of a planet, in a destroyed Viper, and we don’t know if she’ll make it.  It’s the cliff hanger of the story.

Other good things: we meet Doc Coddle.  He is Galactica’s Doctor,  rough and no nonsense, almost a chain smoker, you can tell he’s really seen it all, and yet when examining Roslin and her cancer tells her to “seriously consider prayer” as a treatment option. Also we see Roslin begin to admit things to Apollo.  He’s becoming someone she treats with great trust. I also have been enjoying the back story of Helo and Sharon on the Caprica.  It’s so duplicitous.  Helo thinks Sharon came back for him, and that they are running from the Cylons together, however she knows who she is, and is trying to cultivate his love for her for a specific reason. It makes me very sad, as I really think Helo rocks, and I hate betrayal.

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            Kelly’s post is here.


            This episode focus’s on both humanities needs for basic things, as they’re fleeing through space to find a new home, and the journey of one person as she discovers she is not who she thinks she is.  We watch Boomer (Sharon on Galactica) in the beginning as she sort of Comes to and discovers herself soaking wet.  She also finds in her bag explosives and a detonator.  As she returns them to the small arms locker she finds that there are more missing.

            She panics and turns to Chief Tyrol for help.  Now the two of them have been having a relationship, which isn’t good as it flaunts military law.  They’ve been taken to task for this, and told to quit, as Boomer is Chief’s superior officer, and they’ve been trying to keep what they have secret since then.  Tyrol covers for Boomer believing someone is setting her up.  Boomer is just freaking out.  She’s suspecting something but can’t quite face into it.

            When a ship of the fleet comes to dock with Galactica to get water, the tank holding 60% of Galacitca’s water reserve blows up sending all the water into space.  This really fracks up everything.  The fleet needs to find H2O ASAP or they’re all dead.  Really Dead.  One of the things that this does is everyone goes on water rations, and water becomes like fine liquor.  It gets served with respect when people visit others, and this carries on throughout the season.  Sorry…rabbit trail J

            Adama sends out searches in nearby planet systems to try and find water, at the same time starts to investigate how this could have happened, and sabotage is clear. 

            Boomer has more episodes, and one of the most crucial is when she’s piloting a Raptor scanning for water.  She sees water but can’t make herself say or even see it as her Cylon programming is warring for supremacy, trying to make her detonate the explosives under her seat.  Some how Boomer wins out, and ‘sees’ the water; Yay humanity saved.

            She tells the Chief about the explosives under her seat, and he turns them over to Master of arms, an act Boomer takes as treason.  Chief Tyroll tells her that this helps their investigation, because she was almost killed so how could she be a suspect?

            This is all going on while we see Helo on Caprica with a Sharon Copy, who convinces him to follow a beacon that they’ve discovered.  He doesn’t know that he’s being manipulated.  He thinks the two of them are just trying to survive.

            Fascinating journey of a person trying to come to grips with what they really are.  It is interesting to me that the Cylon has the same capabilities as the Human to ‘self preserve’. Boomers need to survive was the one thing that saved her from blowing herself up.  Fun eh?


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