I was substantially spoiled for this ep so my stomach was in knots as airtime approached. I really expected to be a mess afterwards. Not so much. I thought, overall, it was a strong ep, though knowing it originally ran fifteen minutes longer reinforced the nagging feeling that some important stuff was missing. For instance, would a longer cut have provided a more nuanced view of the crew rather than getting such a villainous picture painted of them? Sure, Cain has created an atmosphere in which her crew is allowed to lose their moral compass and , dare I say, humanity, but can they *all* be like that? We already know what happened to her first XO when he disagreed with a command order. What of others who dared disagree? Larry (the Pegasus deck chief) seemed to be withholding some information. What happened to the rest of the people on his civilian ship? Were they left behind if they didn’t prove useful?
I also wish we got a bit more explanation as to why Cain is the way she is. I sensed some uneasiness from Adama upon her arrival. Has he had run ins with her before? I’m sure he’s had to deal with hard line military folks in the past, but did he already know she had the potential to be an extremist putting war planning ahead of the safety of the fleet (which, hey, he may have been guilty of had not Laura forced him to reprioritize in the mini).
Cain did make some excellent points. I didn’t realize until Lee and Kara’s blow up over the transfer just how far away from military protocol they had moved. But, it reinforced the idea that family had become the priority to all of them, superseding rank and discipline. In many respects, I can see this as a good thing. The situation they all find themselves in is unique and for their civilization to survive they need to hold on to familial bonds and, more importantly, the emotions that connect them and represent the better part of humanity. However, I can still understand Cain’s objections to the lack of discipline she is seeing and that having your son under your command is not a good idea if it can be prevented.
And Adama’s own logs come back to haunt him. We, as viewers, having seen the thought processes and gut wrenching decisions made, can say ’But, Kara and Lee helped save the fleet!’. However, the ’facts’ of the situations, boiled down to the essential information along with Adama’s anger infused emotions coloring the entries at the time, paint a very different picture.
As you know, I love Lee Adama, but I have to say I felt he was being a prick in this episode. And Kara really needs to learn to shut her damn mouth. It seemed to me that after the initial joy of the crews meeting each other a sense of defensiveness and superiority quickly took over. So what if the Pegasus crew opts to keep track of their kills? I seem to recall some of the Galactica pilots keeping a mental count of how many they took out in any given battle. And didn’t they relish in the payback last week?
I seem to be in the minority, as in just me ;), but I liked and understood the position of the new CAG. Ok, maybe I’m a little biased. The actor who plays him played Pete Hutter on ’The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.’ and I just loved him on that show. Come January, I could find out he’s an evil bastard who deserves to die horribly, but right now I can’t see him as a bad guy, rather a by-the-book officer trying to keep his pilots in line. His methods are different than Lee's, but does that mean they are wrong? Lee became CAG out of necessity; most of the viper pilots had been wiped out, and has had to prove himself at nearly every turn. It’s not until very recently we’ve seen him grow more comfortable in his position. While I can understand, now that he’s just come to accept how things are and his position of authority, his becoming upset at being bumped down to just another pilot, he has not been wronged. I didn’t see Lee being assigned to co-pilot a viper as a great humiliation (not to mention there was the practical reason of not having him and Kara in vipers forced to shoot at their friends and former shipmates at the end). The CAG is sitting right next to him in the raptor. And while it may have been a ploy to test Lee, I can’t find fault with the CAG wanting to find out for himself what his new pilots strengths and weaknesses are.
And Kara being grounded? She deserved it. She was probably correct about the plan and I think it would be a good thing for the Pegasus crew to listen to the ideas of their subordinates, but they don’t do things that way. Kara’s attitude exerted cockiness more than anything else. This isn't the Galactica and it isn't Lee who she can mouth off to and get away with it.
Now, for the hot button issue of this episode. The attempted rape of Sharon and the rape/torture/brutalization of Pegasus Six (she has a name but since it wasn’t used in the ep I’ll consider it spoilage for now). I think what it boiled down to for Ron Moore and company is what it said about us as humans and, as Six pointed out previously, we are our own worst enemy. Could Galactica have been the Pegasus without having to concern itself with the welfare of a fleet of civilians, the last hope of humanity? Is Adama simply a better person? Did Cain not have a family to guide her as to what is important and must be preserved? Regardless, the Pegasus crew (in a slightly heavy handed way) is showing us at are very worst.
Perhaps, even worse than the rape itself is that it seems to be condoned, perhaps even authorized, by Cain herself. It would seem she does not want her crew to fall into the trap the Galactica crew has - to begin seeing the Cylons not just as machines, but as people. However, in creating that ideology, and that Pegasus Six in particular is no different than the ships computer or a viper, she’s completely missed the fact that in objectifying Cylons to the status of machines she has sanctioned the destruction of the humanity within her own crew. The men have gotten use to the idea of rape being accepted, used as a method of showing who has the power as well as a form of punishment and retribution. Did we see any women other then Cain aboard the Pegasus? What of them? How long (if it has not already happened) before the men might think it’s OK to do the same to them?
We’ve seen on Galactica that it’s a coed environment. Men and women share quarters together, shower together, change in front of each other. Cally was rightfully disgusted with the men’s talk of raping the female captives. Is she going to feel safe bunking with some of these same men? Adama has struggled mightily with keeping his people together, instilling a sense of family and behavior as we are seeing will quickly destroy it as fear and hatred begin to take over.
wisteria_ made an observation that though the Cylons with the baby farms are equally guilty of atrocities, there is something far more personal at work here. I have to agree. As horrific as the farms are and they, too, inflict physical and psychological damage, the intent is to propagate the species, not torture for the joy of it. The Inquisitor was ready to take pleasure in his violation of Sharon - one of the most chilling moments I’ve seen on this show.
Has Baltar finally been pushed to the side of the Cylons? Can we blame him? He sees before him the image of the woman he loves (Wow, did not see that revelation coming. And the kicker? I believed him. I think he loves Six, perhaps less than himself, but as much as he possibly can.) and what has happened to her at the hands of the people he is supposed to be fighting to protect. Six has been planting doubts in his mind all along . Now he is confronted with is humanity worth saving if this is what we can succomb to? It would also seem this concept of love that the Cylons, for the most part, have a hard time grasping is what, right now, is proving most successful in luring people to their defense.
One small quibble about the Baltar scene. Considering the way Cain runs her ship I’m suppose to believe that room wasn‘t bugged and every word Baltar uttered wasn’t recorded? Of course, I‘m still trying to figure out how Kara got back to Galactica and stole a ship with no one looking. :p