In case you missed it the first dozen or so times I’ve mentioned it, this is my least favorite episode of the series thus far. And, no, it’s not because it’s the ONLY ep without any Bamber. :p It’s just that I feel I’ve seen this type of story told numerous times before and, in many cases, better.
My feelings have essentially not changed, but upon rewatching ‘Litmus’ I found that some things that had bothered me before were less troublesome for me. Perhaps it’s because I’m able to place it in the context of the episodes that came before and after it now. While I still have no issue with having a Lee-free ep, I do wish we had gotten some explanation for his absence. Major events are unfolding on the Galactica and the man who is both the CAG and the president’s military advisor is no where to be found. Since events unfold in the course of a day, I would think a mention of him being on another ship or on a deep space patrol would have covered it. In the deleted scenes, there is a brief appearance by him in sick bay. He explains to Kara what happened in the causeway on C level before telling her “I Gotta go.” OK, that might have actually been worse than having no mention of him at all because we would have been left to wonder where the hell he was for the next 55 minutes.
I’m still rather dumbstruck by Tyrol not concluding Sharon was a Cylon. Denial could help explain it, but I don’t see Tyrol as going to such lengths to delude himself. Especially considering how pissed off he was at Sharon at the end of the ep as she shrugs off Socinus being sent to the brig because he lied to protect she and the chief.
And why didn’t Sharon and Tyrol just admit the truth when they were questioned about their whereabouts? At worst they would have gotten a formal reprimand and a chewing out for disregarding Tigh’s orders not to fraternize. By continuing to lie and possibly being found to be Cylons or aiding the Cylons they would have faced execution. Their decision makes no sense. Neither does the deck crew not getting their stories straight. Sloppy writing here.
We never did determine whether Sharon had something to do with breaking into the arms locker and killing the guard. Keep in mind; she blanked out while shooting Adama, what’s to say she has no recollection of her actions here as well?
Adama wants to make an example out of Socinus for lying under oath and he sentences him to the brig. As Tyrol pleads with Adama that it should be him in the brig, Adama informs him he knows and that, essentially, his punishment is far worse as he will have to deal with the guilt of another taking the fall for his actions. I get that sentiment. However, Tyrol is equally guilty of lying under oath and Adama basically tells him that he’s being given his freedom because he needs him to keep his ships flying. So, in the Colonial Fleet if you have a talent you get a ‘get out of jail free card’? It would explain Cally’s slap on the wrist in Season 2.
Another thing that made little sense to me was Helo’s actions on Caprica. For a moment he considers going south, heading away from Cylon forces, before turning around and heading North to where he feels the Cylons would have taken the presumably abducted Sharon. Helo loves Sharon – that’s been pretty damn obvious from the start. And Sharon makes a point of stating he’s a good man. His decision to abandon her, even briefly, doesn’t fit with what we know of him. It just seemed like a way for the writers to create drama where there wasn’t any.
I actually thought Sgt Hadrian was doing a good job trying to get to the truth and was maintaining a rather rational demeanor considering how many lies she was being told, but then she’s suddenly painted as ‘out of control’ when she turns on Adama, accusing him of complicity with no evidence. And while I understand Adama not wanting a witch hunt aboard his ship, he was shown proof that his people lied repeatedly under oath. Wouldn’t you want to be sure one of them wasn’t a Cylon? It’s possible had the tribunal been allowed to continue, more truths would have been revealed allowing them to discover who and what Sharon really was. It’s as if the writers had this great idea, but didn’t wish to deal with it for more than one episode so they abruptly ended it.
Six informs Baltar that “They don’t know about me or our life together.” Does this mean Six is working independently of the other Cylons? Does she have her own agenda? And how does this gel with Shelley Godfrey’s arrival in the next ep?
One random note - Adama mentions that his father was a civil liberties lawyer. Given Lee’s past and future actions, it would seem Lee takes after his grandfather in many ways.
There were quite a few. I already mentioned Lee’s brief and head scratching appearance. The scene continued on and showed Adama and Tigh meeting Hadrian and requesting she meet them in Adama’s quarters.
Billy leads his first official press conference fielding a question from Plya about ration distribution and one from another reporter about the income tax. This scene segued to another in which Roslin congratulates “Mr. Press Secretary”.
The scene in which Tyrol discovers Cally and the others working on the still they created - there is a slightly different take. The one they went with seemed better.
And after the announcement about how Cylons look like humans now, Crashdown talks to Sharon about the revelation. Not terribly exciting stuff.
Six Degrees of Separation
We’re now at 24 days since the attacks. Have I mentioned how much I miss the time markers? It almost makes me wish Helo and Sharon were back on Caprica. Almost.
This is an episode I’m not sure holds up quite so well on repeated viewings. I think they went overboard with Six’s preaching about “God’s eternal love” and Baltar needing to give himself over to it in order to save his soul. Of course, Baltar makes one too many jokes about Six’s beliefs and soon finds himself alone. Almost immediately following Six’s departure, in walks Shelley Godfrey accusing Baltar of being a traitor and causing the holocaust.
Since Shelley eventually just vanishes from Galactica, I’m hoping that means that we’ll see this particular incarnation of Six again because she poses many interesting questions. Baltar accuses her of being “just another Cylon copy”, but is she? Has she been sent by the Cylon ’collective’ to implicate Baltar and eliminate him because he’s a hinderance to their grand plan? Is she aware of Six and are they working together thus contradicting Six‘s statement in ‘Litmus‘ that they don‘t know about her? Was the plan to build Baltar up, tear him down, and have him rise again to become more powerful and popular than ever? People generally aren’t accused of treason twice. Does Shelley even know she’s a Cylon or is she a sleeper agent like Sharon? Could her purpose be to set up Baltar and drive him back to Six and God’s plan for him/them?
Sure enough, to save his ass we hear “Dear God”. He acknowledges one god, Six’s god. And as Six returns and Gaeta discovers the video image was doctored Baltar is saved. His prayers answered. Does this reinforce in Baltar that perhaps there is some truth in Six’s beliefs? Is he becoming a believer? When he asks “Grant your forgiveness” there’s at least a hint of sincerity in his request.
OK, the Shelley/Adama scene just seemed...odd. What was her throwing herself at Adama suppose to accomplish? Then again, if she was a sleeper agent, maybe her motives were genuine though I’m not quite buying that.
Does anyone else think “Cylon” written on Sharon’s mirror was done so by Shelley? It was never addressed and I’m not sure who else would have done it.
Speaking of Sharon we get more ‘Hello?! She’s a Cylon!’ not-so-subtle hints. Sharon gets all touchy-feely with the Cylon ship - hypothesizing to Tyrol that it’s a Cylon itself, but more like an animal, and most likely genetically designed to perform a specific task. Seriously, Tyrol, take the blinders off. Why do I now think he saw her spine glow red at some point and just thought it was a skin irritation.
Random bits I liked:
The mention of Dr Amerack who died(?) in ‘33’. I love continuity. :)
Lee looking utterly adorable playing with Kara’s crutches and trying to encourage her in the most irritating way to start walking again. And I’ll throw a bone to you L/Kers. ;) I noticed when Kara gave up, Lee states "We’ll try again".
“No more Mr. Nice Gaius!” - Hee!
OK, Laura is too quick to judge and condemn Baltar before all the facts are not in yet, however I love that her instincts tell her that Baltar is somehow complicit in the holocaust - “I believe you were involved in the attack, somehow, I feel it.”
Only one. Deleted scene. Tyrol is in the Cylon ship, Tigh and Cally outside, all are trying to figure out the directions Kara has written down on how to operate the ship. Lee approaches and asks to speak to Tigh. He feels Kara needs an incentive to get out of sick bay, a job, something to do. That’s the way she works he informs Tigh. I think this may have been a nice bit to leave in. Not only does it set up Tigh’s later scene with Kara in which he asks her about helping the chief out with the ship, it also shows that Lee has an understanding of how she operates that the others don’t.