Asta 2

BSG Ep 3: Fragged

It a beautiful morning here, so what am I doing? I'm glued to a computer, typing up my thoughts. Damn my obsessions.



‘Fragged’ a perfect name for this episode. I’ve given up thinking it can’t get any worse for these folks. And, last night, it wasn’t so much the Cylons that they had to worry about, it was each other.

47,862. Only twelve people died last week. I find that a little hard to believe. Perhaps the only false note I found in the episode. Ok, the attack on the Cylon gun was a little reminiscent of the rebels trying to take down the shield generator in ‘Return of the Jedi’. If only Lucas had had the guts to have had Han actually blow away C-3PO.

It’s a testament to the shows development of the characters, all of them - from the core group to the secondary characters to the day players - that it wasn’t until 10:50 that I realized Starbuck, Helo, and Boomer were absent. To say I didn’t miss them isn’t a slight to them. Rather, there was so much other ground be covered that their presence could have been a distraction. The show is telling us that just because Katee Sackoff is in the opening credits we don’t need to use her every week in some superfluous scene to warrant her picking up a paycheck.

It really hadn’t struck me how little time has passed since the coup until Dr Cottle showed up. His 15 minute trip to Galactica has taken three episodes. Granted, there was the ‘we lost the fleet’ delay. We also come to realize that the fleet is very short staffed in terms of experienced medical personal. It’s understandable that Jamie’s wife (yeah, I really need to figure out her character’s name if she’s going to be around for the foreseeable future), a medic, missed a bleeder, but the doctor’s assistant (?) is still learning the various instruments.

Tigh, on shaky command legs to begin with, is quickly losing what semblance of control he did have. While the alcohol will exacerbate irrational behavior, it is not the cause of it. He may be a great second in command in terms of military strategy, but he’s a miserable failure in the political arena. I could perhaps accept his instability better if it was simply a case of lack of experience (as we see with Crashdown), but, no, he’s an asshole while doing it, desperate to try to fill in for the old man until he’s back on his feet. I didn’t agree with Adama’s decision, but he never, never, would have attempted to turn Laura’s predicament into a sideshow and humiliate her.

At the beginning of Tigh’s scenes, I was wondering if it was Tigh’s sanity we should worry about. He stares down Billy and asks him why he isn’t in the brig. And, gods love Billy, after everything he’s seen and been through, the boy has grown a strong backbone. The old Billy would have stopped and stammered, searching for an answer. Here, we get an almost immediate, even slightly sarcastic, “Because no one put me in there.” If Billy’s not going to take your crap Tigh, you’ve got problems.

Cut to CIC and a scene that I felt had a somewhat surreal quality to it. Tigh barks accusations at Lee - why isn’t he in the brig - and I thought we were about to see Tigh giving into paranoia; seeing enemies all around him. Lee is a very different man than we last saw him. He’s washed up, clean shaven, in full uniform, standing over a map strategizing with his people. With Lee there we see two man commanding attention in very different ways. The entire bridge crew is seeing their commander fall apart by degrees - his physical appearance taking on the state of his psyche. Then we have the mutineer, the traitor, who is the picture of calm and control and doing what needs to be done to get back their people on Kobol.

I wonder if Lee is completely aware of the power he has right now? He’s their hero really, standing up against the cylons and preventing them from seizing control of the ship. And we’re seeing a cockiness and arrogance return that I haven’t seen since the mini. He challenges Tigh’s reasoning and wins the argument. He takes a shot at Tigh as he exit’s the room, “Demanding job commanding a Battlestar”, a comment heard by all and eliciting chuckles. It’s a comment that he should have been, but is not, reprimanded for. Maybe I love Lee here because his words and actions aren’t just out of anger and bitterness towards Tigh, but, simultaneously, he’s defending his father, showing his admiration for him, and a perhaps a confidence that maybe things can be made right.

Now, as for Laura…I don’t want to come off as defensive, but I think it’s important I explain where my feelings about Laura are coming from in this episode. While I question the withdrawal from a supposed cancer treatment, it didn’t stop me from getting knots in my stomach from watching her rapid deterioration. I sometimes think my concern for fictional characters is irrational, none the less, Laura’s humiliation was affecting me. It took me a couple moments to process why. I’ve seen similar reactions, confusion, memory loss, paranoia, from experience. I had a momentary flashback to a situation with my father and without becoming maudlin, I have a lot of sympathy for Laura here. While Tigh doesn’t have the benefit of knowing about the cancer at this point, he doesn’t seem to care how all this may be affecting her health and looks to humiliate her to his advantage. I’m not absolving Laura of her mistakes, but it seems to me that Tigh is blaming her for what happened to Adama, when one thing had nothing to do with the other. Of course, it may be easier to blame ‘that woman’ then acknowledging how you had overlooked the cylons in your midst.

The whole plot to undo Laura Roslin and ending up screwing themselves worked brilliantly. Tigh’s underestimated everyone who has come into contact with Laura and the loyalty she has garnered from them. The idiocy of housing Laura and Lee together continues to baffle me (and am I the only one thinking that Adama had good reason not to throw Lee in the brig, but order him brought to the CIC?). Billy has free reign of the ship. And now she has the corporal doing whatever is asked of him. Add in Tigh’s instability and growing lack of respect amongst his people and now the Quorum falling at her feet and it’s just a matter of time before we see her next big power play.

Her speech to the Quorum was genius. (Did she really need to pull herself together or do I sense her adding a bit of drama to the proceedings? ) I’ve felt Laura wavering in regards to whether or not to use the prophecy and her perceived role in it to the fullest advantage. I guess we have an answer. She knows this may be her only opportunity to regain her authority (if Adama were to die, Tigh would let her rot down there) and she throws everything in her arsenal out there promising to “fight this action with everything at my command“. She is careful to call it an “attempted military coup” meaning ‘The lady’s still in charge’ as far as she’s concerned. She’s not resigned (has that rumor been thrown out there? From the reaction of the press at the end they seemed to have been at a loss as to what was going on.) and is still assuming the role of leader.

Then we have the moment that Tigh plays right into her hands. He brings up the quest for the arrow. And this is where things get interesting. She makes a choice, if she even has one, and announces her belief in the prophecy and her role in it, confessing that she is, in fact, a dying leader. Instead of this setting off further panic, it earns her the allegiance of the Quorum, something she didn’t really have before. Does religion play a much greater role in the lives of the colonists than I had believed? Or, amidst the desperation, fear, and confusion, is she providing them a hope to cling to, just as Adama’s promise of leading them to earth did.

Can you imagine Adama waking up to all of this and having to try to clean up the mess? And what of Lee? He’s absent for the confessional and declaration of martial law (Tigh’s betrayal of his father’s trust) . He missed Laura’s temporary breakdown and loss of control. Will she tell him about it? Will he hear about it from others? Is it Friday yet??? I don’t believe for a minute that it would cause him to abandon her (who’s he going to support, Tigh?), but he may be more cautious.

Zarek’s a wild card in all this. I love how this show continuous to make you see things from all perspectives. Zarek made some sense in the initial confrontation with Tigh. He also made some sense when holding Lee and the others prisoner in ‘Bastille Day’. Martial law would appear to be a mixed blessing for him. It could provide an opportunity for him to lead a revolt. However, he’s smart enough to know the fleet needs Galactica’s protection including and the support of the crew. And I’m not sure he wasn’t the one responsible for sending Ellen to check up on Laura. Perhaps he wanted the President’s insanity seen so he could make a move to gain control of the Quorum. When Laura failed to meet his expectations and pulled herself together, he immediately changed strategy. After all, if she dies in a few months time and is seen as supporting the presidency now, it would seem to improve his chances for election later. He’s also quick to encourage the Gemmenon representative to speak up.

Lastly, there is the situation on Kobol. The military certainly takes a beating in this episode. Tigh and Crashdown, in charge do to bad luck and rank, are woefully ill prepared for the roles they must fill. Crashdown’s plan to attack was a necessary one. Granted, he’s reasoning wasn’t entirely sound - a consequence of the combination of guilt and duty - but if the rescue team gets shot down, more lives are lost and they’re pretty much doomed. Unfortunately, just like Tigh, he’s not seeing things in a rational manner. We know that Cally is far from being a coward so for her to say, no, I *can’t* do this is telling me that this is a suicide mission without purpose. Would Crash have pulled the trigger and shot Cally? I’m thinking yes. Was he the betrayer or Baltar (“One of you will turn against the others“)? I don’t know. But, Baltar did what had to be done even if his act is tainted by the fact he put them in the predicament with his faulty intel. And while his central motivation is to save his own ass, I thought I saw some genuine concern for Cally and Tyrol. He even seemed to learn to shoot well, fast. Damn, imagine if he actually started respecting other people? Now, all of them are now bound together by a lie; Baltar in protecting himself and the others in honoring Crash’s memory.

Six succeeded in making Baltar a man - making him fully human. Wasn’t he human before? Why the seeming necessity to make him a killer? Guilt’s also a very human emotion, how could that work to the Cylon advantage?

It’s also interesting to note that the boundary between Baltar’s real life and his fantasy one is starting to break down. He saw himself as he, in actuality, was in his discussion with Six on Dream Caprica. Is he starting to let go of the fantasies? And why did Six want them off Kobol so badly? Is there something they don’t want them to find there? Or do they simply see an opening amongst all the chaos in the fleet and it’s time for the Vice President to return to take advantage of it

Two random bits I loved….Cally’s revelation that she “I just joined to pay for dental school” and Lee’s quiet “You’re welcome” to Tyrol.

Last night before leaving work, the guys in the mailroom asked me what my plans were for the weekend. I said I really didn’t have any specific plans yet. At which point one of them said ‘Except for tonight. You have ‘Galactica’. Um, I apparently talk way too much. Especially when my response was “Yep, it’s Sci-Fi Friday!” --->is soooo a geek <---
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yes! it was a great ep--and great comments as always.

my favorite goosebump moment was when No. 6 told baltar that he's "a man" now, fully human, because he committed murder. baltar replies (paraphrase) "what? not art, poetry, literature--but murder is what makes us human?" as he turns to leave, she replies to his distress: "i'll be your conscience."

holy frack.

and i'm guessing the reason she wanted him to go to kobol so badly (using his over-inflated sense of self-preservation as leverage, hinting that something bad would happen on galactica when really his presence on the ship might have changed the outcome of those events a bit) because she somehow "knew" the events on kobol would precipitate him becoming a "man." having proven his ability to kill, perhaps she now believes he's capable of protecting their "child."

hmmmm.
The "I'll be your conscience" line was chilling. I give TH big points for her delivery of it. She sounded so sincere. As if Baltar is a lost soul without her to guide him. Accept, it was his decision to shoot Crashdown and save Cally. And a short time later he was shotting that gun like a pro, providing cover for Tyrol. That was all him. I wonder when he'll realize that it's Six preventing him from being a better man and is it too late to escape her?

You make a good point about wanting Baltar off of Galactica. Had he still been on board, I think he would have had to assume control of the civilian government. Tigh couldn't have connected him to Laura's plan and would have been hard pressed to remove him from office.
If Billy’s not going to take your crap Tigh, you’ve got problems.

Hee! Tigh's weakness is just coming out all over now, and the way he underestimated Roslin, the way his personalization of the antagonism destroyed any ability he might have had to assess the situation rationally, and his arrogance and cruelty and hamhandedness, were frightening. And while I think he's capable of being an ass on his own, it's interesting the way Ellen set the tone for his attempt to expose Laura's irrationality, the gleeful way she pointed out the possibilities. Adama was right, she brings out the worst in Tigh.
I'm not sure Tigh would have ever allowed the Qorum to see Laura without Ellen egging him on (and I'm still not sure Ellen had that thought on her own or if Zarek was behind it). Actually, without Ellen's 'help', Tigh may not have found himself forced to declare martial law. So, Ellen's responsible for bringing down the civilian government - color me surprised. :p

Tigh's underestimated Roslin from the moment he met her. I don't think he's ever gotten past the fact she was a school teacher whereas Adama, having had discussions with her, knows how savvy she is. On an intellectual level, I can see Laura and Adama being able to mend some fences, but I'm not sure what it will take for Tigh to see past his misconceptions.
speaking of "ellen egging him on," i was watching the ep again with my husband, and when that scene was playing, he said "lady macbeth" -- the waspish wife who egged her husband on to murder and power. it wouldn't surprise me if ron moore relied on some shakesperean influences in drawing these larger-than-life characters. in fact, stop me now, or i'll be seeing shakespeare everywhere.
Ellen is definitely Lady Macbeth, only without the conscience. ;) I know many have compared BSG to a Greek tragedy and I don't discount that, but I do see the influence of Shakespeare at play too.
So much to say here, and I've never been good at the whole discussion thing. ;)

I wonder if Lee is completely aware of the power he has right now? He’s their hero really, standing up against the cylons and preventing them from seizing control of the ship.

That caught my attention, too. Given the chain of command, I can't see how he could maneuver his way into the top position; however, he's obviously the most suited to be interim commander, and he seems to want that, too. I'm really eager to see how that plays out.
His rank and lack of seniority wouldn't allow him to ascend to command. And I don't see him taking over via force. But, it's clear that the crew is looking to him for support and answers. He's not being treated any differently than he was before turning his gun on Tigh whereas Tigh is now the butt of jokes due to his irrational, drunken behavior. It's clear things have come to a head. How many of Tigh's officers may choose to follow Lee instead?
This is excellent commentary, and made me rethink a lot of aspects of the show. I've been wondering how they'll handle Roslin's death, if she'll play out the role of Moses leading her people to the Promised Land but not surviving long enough to see it herself, or if she'll be miraculously cured at some point. But since the timeline is moving so slowly, we could have her around for some time to come. Every moment in these people's lives is so packed with events and meaning, it could take seasons to progress just few months.

Poor Tigh. If Adama had ignored lapses like leaving Billy free or loose talk from the crew, it would have been as a powerful man who could afford to let people blow off some steam. In Tigh's case, it's a matter of not having enough control. So he's tried to sieze it all by declaring martial law, a strategy that historically is great for slightly delaying coups or civil wars. Maybe he's smart enough to realize that's all it can do, and is hoping Adama will wake up and make everything okay. But that's a very dangerous game. Roslin and Lee are like the jailed Nobel Prize winners who are only made more powerful by a military dictatorship's effort to marginalize them. They could take over the fleet together if they wanted. Again, I wonder if Tigh realizes that they are actually exercising restraint.
When she was diagnosed, she was given six months to live. When I was chatting with danceswithwords the other night, she thought that only about forty days had passed since the destruction of the colonies. I know Roslin said she had a "few months" to live, but it may be closer to five which given how the show is depicting time, means she could well be with us through this season and into the next, at least. Which, YAY!. :) There's also the possibility of remission which could slow the cancer's progress or wouldn't it be interesting if the Cylons had a treatment for her? Would she make a deal with the devil? And if she lives, then doesn't that prove the prophecy false? Or is she not the dying leader? So much to think about.

Roslin and Lee are like the jailed Nobel Prize winners who are only made more powerful by a military dictatorship's effort to marginalize them.

Oooh, I like that. :) Laura is the only one providing hope to the fleet right now. Lee is the hero who just saved them from the cylons *and* led the mission that brought their people home. Tigh just stripped everyone of their freedoms. I know who'd I'd support.

They could take over the fleet together if they wanted. Again, I wonder if Tigh realizes that they are actually exercising restraint.

He really is clueless about the two people he's holding...together. That continues to boggle my mind. Given that things look to be getting even worse next week, exercising restraint may be over. Especially since she has the support of the Qorum now.


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When we watched the mini, my daughter said at the end, "That all happened in one day?!"

Do we know if Starbuck's leg was broken and which bone it was? She could have recovered fully in 6 to 8 weeks from many kinds of breaks, which would fit the 40-day timeline. Also, the characters act like exhausted people who haven't had months to reflect and consider. They are running on adrenaline. *vows to keep this in mind as it will help her tolerate Gaius better*

Whenever I watch this show, I'm struck by the difference between the roles people take on in peacetime, and what they become in emergencies. Crashdown is an example. He was trained to be a hero, and I don't think Gaius was being all that sarcastic when he said Crash died a hero. It's just that by-the-book heroes who think in black and white are not what humanity needs right now.

I remember reading "Schindler's List" many years ago. Before WWII, Schindler would never have struck anyone as a likely hero. He was a con man and an opportunist. As it happened, a con man with a conscience was the only person who could do what he did under a certain set of circumstances.
I don't think Starbuck's leg was broken, it seemed to be her knee that was injured. To what extent (cracked knee cap, torn ligament, torn cartiledge...) I don't know. But, I think it's safe to say it was about a month before she was able to fly again. And, I believe, her first flight back was in the Cylon ship and not a viper.

I think Galactica will make us look differently at what constitutes a hero. It's not always black and white and sometimes heros become so in spite of themselves. I actually feel that Baltar is capable of change and perhaps could be someone to help lead the fleet to a safe haven. It's not like he intentionally helped un destroying the colonies. And, in a twisted way, encouraging Boomer to kill herself last season was his way of trying to eliminate a threat. Had she suceeded, it's possible this current mess may have been averted.
And, last night, it wasn’t so much the Cylons that they had to worry about, it was each other.

Excellent point! I hadn't thought of it that way. It's very interesting in light of the skulls and what 6 said about human sacrifice.

47,862. Only twelve people died last week. I find that a little hard to believe.

ITA. No way. If he's going to keep a count, then he needs to make it believable. Otherwise it would be better not to do it at all IMO.

And I’m not sure he wasn’t the one responsible for sending Ellen to check up on Laura.

Oooo! Great point!

Would Crash have pulled the trigger and shot Cally? I’m thinking yes.

I watched this scene several times, and from what I can see, he was absolutely squeezing down on the trigger.

Great commentary! :)
TA. No way. If he's going to keep a count, then he needs to make it believable. Otherwise it would be better not to do it at all IMO.

I think we may have seen twelve bodies last week, but having Lee make the comment that all he was finding was bodies in his path lead me to believe there were a lot of fatalities we weren't seeing. I was expecting to see some staggering number like 100 which would have seriously caused a problem for Galactica.

I watched this scene several times, and from what I can see, he was absolutely squeezing down on the trigger.

When I watched again yesterday I noticed that he was ready to fire too. He felt really bad about it :p, but he was going to shoot her.

</i>Great commentary! </i>

Thank you! :)
This is a really good post on this episode; I'm still sort of drained from the experience, :-) so I'm just tossing in some random thoughts.

And we’re seeing a cockiness and arrogance return that I haven’t seen since the mini. He challenges Tigh’s reasoning and wins the argument.

That was an interesting scene. It was kind of nice to see Lee so together and calmly contemptous; he's really pissed off at Tigh, but he's not letting it get the better of him. And yeah, I still felt sorry for Tigh, even though he's really screwing up this episode. And it did help Tigh pull himself together.

It's a good observation that Lee seems to have a lot more of the support of the surrounding crew than Tigh does. Wonder what will happen with that. I don't think Lee will let any conflict escalate while they're waiting for Adama to recover, as Adama will be the last judge of them both, and Lee wouldn't want the situation to get any worse than it already is. But now that you've pointed that out, it makes me wonder if Tigh is aware of the kind of power Lee would have just then, should he choose to take it.

I've got to admit, I didn't know what 'fragged' means when I watched last night, so the parallels didn't stand out for me until I started reading people's posts. :-) I did appreciate the Caprica storyline being dropped for this episode, as it would have been very distracting (and led to even more nail-biting!) to cut there, too. I agree that Crashdown had a point about destroying the dish, and that actually made the whole thing worse. It was pretty obvious from the beginning that he didn't have a good grip on the situation and that they were heading for disaster, and I can fault his style but not the idea in principle. And I was glad Baltar shot him, but I still felt sorry for him.

Zarek is really fascinating at this point. I tend to have very little patience with people like him, and then time and again I find myself thinking he's not completely without reason; he certainly decided that a military running wild is too big a threat to everyone, including himself, to do anything to undermine Roslin's presidency. Though, okay, it would also be interesting if he had any sort of exchange with Ellen after Ellen's visit to the brig. For the moment, I don't think he'd have told her to tell Tigh that Roslin is losing her mind; that'll only spell trouble for the chance of re-establishing a civilian government in general, which he wants to lead at some point, after all.

Personally, I think he did some very fast thinking after Roslin put all her cards on the table and concluded that it won't be worth it to challenge her over six months of power; there's much more to be gained by becoming a staunch supporter. What she will do in response to that... hmmm.

Sorry this got rambly. I don't think I'm going to do another post of my own but there were so many things here I haven't yet talked about, I couldn't help myself. :-)
I think Zarek entered the my enemy's enemy is my friend phase at the end of 'Fragged'. I don't think he's fully come to accept Roslin's authority, but he see's her as the only viable alternative to the military being in charge.

While Lee knows Tigh is a disaster as Commander, I don't think he was about to do anything to remove Tigh thus causing even more chaos. However, when he returns to Galactica he is going to find out that not only has Tigh disbanded the civilian government and given himself total authority, but that he is doing something his father did not want. That may be the motivating factor to, once again, act as his conscience dictates.