The first thing of note is that vthey altered the opening credits (which if you watched the NBC broadcast, closely aligns with what they used). The US music has been replaced by the UK music. I really have no preference, but I do miss the quick cuts of upcoming scenes accompanied by that pounding drumbeat. We were also told via a few phrases that the show is shifting direction a bit. It’s no longer just about dodging the Cylons and surviving, it’s about finding earth.
The opening of the show I don’t feel could have been better. We, along with the crew, are thrown into the confusion and chaos resulting from Sharon’s attempted assassination of Adama and what that means for the fleet. I don’t know whether to applaud Lt Gaeta or be highly suspicious of him. He’s the only one who seemed to keep his head and realize what needed to be done as events were unfolding. Unfortunately, we’re left with Saul ‘They’re So Screwed’ Tigh in command of the fleet and some I think we’ve seen once before, by the book Captain as second in command. The guy who should be there who we’ve seen make unbelievably important decisions on the fly is being hauled off to the Brig. Not only is this detrimental to the fleet, it’s an incredibly petty action to take. I can understand his anger at Lee, but doesn’t he think Adama would want his only son with him as he lay dying? Yeah, Tigh’s pretty much on my shit list at the moment.
Intercut with everything else going on, we are suddenly given very vague snippets of Tigh and Adama’s history together. It may be interesting to know how these two men came to know each other and be in service on the Galactica together, but as danceswithwords pointed out last night, it seemed incredibly ill timed. The momentum of the show, for me at least, came to a halt every time these scenes popped up. (Not to mention the distraction of the bad fake hair.) And I’m a little confused as to how old they were suppose to be. I was assuming this was before Lee and Zak were born and no way in hell did they look to be in their twenties or thirties.
What was intriguing to learn was that both were members of the military, were for some now mysterious reason out of it, and that Adama maneuvered them back in. It was also interesting to note that Adama, who has so many issues with his son’s conduct, often selfless, used his wife’s families influence to get what he wanted and dragged a suicidal alcoholic along with him. Color me not impressed.
Since this is part one of a two-parter, I’m reserving judgment on some aspects of the episode (I‘ll defer to danceswithwords and her future, I‘m sure, criticism regarding how an independently hardwired ship can be hacked by the Cylons. Maybe they have wireless internet? ;). I had issues with being subjected to rather pointless, since we already knew Tigh was ill-prepared for the demands of command, flashbacks while Baltar and Six disappear in the middle of the episode. After all, Six had one heck of a revelation if it turns out to be true. She and Baltar are to have a child? Neat trick since she currently has no physical form. I really thought the child she introduced Baltar to was Helo and Sharon’s, but it would seem their child is meant for another purpose. Or were they just a test case?
As for other events off-fleet…..did anyone not see whiny guy dying? Really, just put a red shirt on him and call it a day. Though, they did a magnificent job with the firefight (anyone else wondering whether those aren‘t Cylons firing at them?). My mind flashed to what it must be like in Iraq. On Kobol, we have Kara announcing how stupid men can be. Yes dear, we know and Helo wasn’t exactly the brightest guy in the fleet to begin with before his views were colored by love and images of family. However, I still feel he’s right about Sharon. After everything she went through to protect him, I can’t see her just abandoning them. Let’s face it, I don’t think the three of them could get back to Galactica in that Cylon fighter. I’m guessing she’s looking for an alternative means of transport.
Speaking of transport, we are introduced to another type of Cylon ship. I admit I knew that the Galactica was going to be overrun by Cylons, but I had no clue how they got there. And while I know a hell of a lot was going on aboard the ship, NO ONE ::cough:: Tigh ::cough:: thought to send a team to investigate a ship that crashed into Galactica and didn’t explode?
Now that I’ve got all that out of the way, let’s talk about what was, for me, the focus of the show, Lee and Laura though, no, not in THAT way.
As we’ve seen him do before, Lee can let all of his emotion come pouring out, often in quick, violent bursts, and just as quickly bury it and bring up that cool, collected exterior. He screams at the guard to undo his bindings, then calmly sits down to discuss the situation with Laura.
Here’s where I criticize Laura. For the first time I felt she was really out of her element. Did she honestly think Lee could simply go to Tigh, tell him he was wrong (which he wouldn’t because he wasn’t and because he’d rot in the brig before giving Tigh any satisfaction) and apologize and he’d be welcomed back into the fold? In the eyes of the military he’s a mutineer. (Though, interestingly, he wasn’t just called back to duty, he was still giving orders to the other Viper pilots who seemed to have no problem taking orders from him. I sense a division in the ranks.) If Laura’s naiveté wasn’t bad enough, as Galactica is in chaos, the fleet is lost, and Adama lies bleeding to death, she’s worried about Kara retrieving that damn arrow. Yeah, I still support her, but that pissed me off. The only way I’m able to excuse her behavior is that it is born of a genuine desire to save the remnants of humankind and she‘s desperate for an answer as to how. And right now the only way she can see of doing that is based on some half ass prophecy.
What’s more worrisome for me is the guard’s request that she pray with him. That kind of threw me. Is she already being viewed as a prophet, chosen to lead the people out of hell into some paradise (ha!) called earth? It’s not just worrisome when your political leader also becomes your spiritual leader, but it makes Adama’s decision to overthrow her that much more dangerous because they are on their way to creating a martyr.
There wasn’t enough Lee in this that goes without saying. ;) But, he had two powerful moments that bookend nicely. I appreciated Laura’s immediate concern for his well being (especially when she momentarily begins to reach out to comfort him, but for a variety of reasons can’t) and her genuine apology for getting him involved in this mess. Lee is quick to point out “I didn’t do it for you”. It’s not said in a defensive, angry, or judgmental way, he’s simply stating a fact. He was protecting the office of the president and the constructs of democracy - not her. And now looking at not just the civilian government in shambles, but the military in dire straights as well, all he probably sees is the human race on the brink of extinction and realizing, “I did it for nothing it turns out”. Even though I was saddened to here him utter those words, I knew this is a guy who’s not just going to curl into a ball on his bunk and accept defeat.
Then came, perhaps, my favorite moment of the episode. As Tigh has him released for the brig, Lee reiterates to him the terms of his parole in a manner that says ‘Yeah, I get it, now let me go do my job and try to save our asses’. As Laura wishes him “good hunting” he turns back and in a loud, clear, self-assured voice, saying it as much for Tigh’s benefit as for her own, “Thank You Madam President”. It was a polite way of saying ’screw you Tigh’. That was the defiant, I’m confidant that I made the right decision Lee I know and love. And while he may obey the restrictions that have been placed upon him, he’s not going to follow by Tigh’s rules. (Uh, note to Tigh, putting Lee and Laura in adjoining cells so they can plot their next moves? Not a good idea.)