‘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 <---