(FYI, I mention something about the promo for next weeks ep at the very end of the post.)
"The truth is told by whoever is left standing."- Tom Zarek
What will be Tom Zarek’s truth? Will he have died a martyr in the fight for humanity’s freedom? Or will he have died the power hungry murderer? Will Gaeta be remembered as the man who risked his life to save lives on New Caprica? Or will he be the embittered man who allowed innocent people to be gun downed as he sought personal vengeance? Then there are numerous co-conspirators still alive, still left standing. What will their stories be? Do they still have the chance to rewrite their stories?
I should want Narcho dead. I should want him facing a firing squad. He fired on the raptor carrying the president, one of my beloved characters. And he had every intention of following through with Gaeta’s orders to execute Adama. Yet, I’m very happy he is alive. Maybe I’m just swimming in the shallow end of the pool on this one – he’s too damn pretty to die. Or maybe we need to see the fallout in the fleet for those that followed Zarek and Gaeta and Narcho might as well be one to tell that story.
There should be more executions, but it’s probably not practical. How many pilots were involved? And Cavil and his group of Cylons are still out there, threatening to attack. But how do Narcho, Racetrack, Gage, and numerous others resume their roles? They won’t be trusted and many of their comrades may welcome seeing them get blown away or have an ‘accident’.
Kelly poses a particular problem. Knowing how Adama likes to reward loyalty he could forgive Kelly and reinstate him. But Kelly had been imprisoned for murder. But is Kelly still a threat to the crew or even the Cylons? I think the answer is no. Kelly hates the Cylons as much as his fellow mutineers, yet his actions have been motivated by the betrayals of his fellow humans. Baltar didn’t deserve a trial because he aided the Cylons at the cost of human lives. To his mind, Adama was going down that same road. Witnessing the murder of the Quorum by Zarek was a turning point. They died, not for siding with the Cylons, but because they wouldn’t acknowledge Zarek as the president. Kelly did nothing to stop it. Not that he could. He would have been killed along with them and would not have been able to aid Adama and help take back the ship. And isn’t that what Baltar did? Watched others die, bore the burden of that, in order that not everyone on New Caprica die?
As for letting Tyrol, a Cylon, go, Tyrol was a friend and he values personal relationships. One of the reasons he turned to murder was because he could no longer take sending his people, his friends, to their deaths. And in ‘The Son Also Rises’ he made it clear to Lee he wouldn’t have allowed the raptor with the bomb to launch with him on it. Now he’s confronted by the ‘enemy’, but also his friend who is trying to stop the mutiny, save the ship, and save lives.
Narcho tells Adama he’s always respected him, but he hates the Cylons and can’t take orders from a leader who won’t fight them. It summed up beautifully the feelings of, I’m sure, many of the mutineers. It needed to be said to make sense of it all, particularly to Adama. But part of me feels Racetrack should have been the one to say those words. I have inexplicably strong feelings for Narcho, but I acknowledge he’s a very minor character. Racetrack has been around since the beginning. We know her much better. She’s part of the Galactica family, part of our family, and the words would have been more powerful coming from her. Still, I commend the writers for trying to give every character, no matter how small a part they played, a moment to shine.
I really don’t have much to say about Adama. He never was going to admit to any wrong doing and, just as Baltar before him, he wasn’t guilty of the crimes he was accused of. I am relieved that, for the first time, it was made clear that the Great Bill Adama alone did not save the fleet. It took a lot of people to avert the crisis: Lee and Kara freeing the Cylons, Tigh and Athena aiding Lee, Kelly’s conscience leading him to switch sides, Tyrol crawling through the ship to disable the FTL, and Laura threatening to destroy Galactica rather than allow Gaeta and Zarek destroy the fleet. Yay Team!
Referring to Laura, Gaeta informs Zarek that “now we have a military leader and a president all in one”. Laura, who just a few years ago struggled with the most basic of military protocol, knew exactly how to chip away at Gaeta’s plan. It was a definite “Gotcha” moment when she had the Cylons position the basestar in the middle of the fleet. And she ultimately did what Adama had done many times before – she threatened to nuke them, killing hundreds to save thousands.
One could argue they needed an attorney for the kangaroo court, but the reappearance of Romo felt like fan service to me. He didn’t add much to the episode, accept proving the pen is mightier than the sword, or gun as the case may be.
Kara was largely sidelined for the episode and, sorry Kara fans, I liked it. So often, Kara is the one who gets to be the kick ass hero, the one to come up with the brilliant plan, and the one who ultimately saves the day. This week, it was Lee’s turn to shine. The scene where they take out the marines was awesome. Not just because it was a good plan or because it left Kara hiding behind crates (hee) while he cavalierly kept moving forward, but because of his nonchalant attitude (“I didn’t pull the pin.” “It would have been funny if you thought of it.”) He so often doesn’t give himself the credit he deserves. Plus, the man had a grenade in his pants. Talk about confidence! And feel free to insert your own joke here. ;)
This week, beccatoria and I were having a discussion about our alternashipper tendencies with BSG. I’m sure I’m in the minority being touched by the Kara/Sam scene. I couldn’t see her do anything but stay with him. She’s not only loyal to the people she loves; she would lay down her life for them. Even as she feared the worst, Sam bleeding to death in the corridor, she wasn’t going to not fight to save him or leave him to die alone. I’m looking forward to them exploring their relationship next week. I believe they’ve only shared one scene together since Kara discovered he is a Cylon. They need to address how she has (or hasn’t) dealt with that revelation and how she feels about him.
Zarek’s execution of the Quorum shocked me. I hadn’t imagined him going that far. Though given his murder of Laird and repeated talks with Gaeta about getting blood on their hands, I shouldn’t have been surprised. If I had doubts that this was not all about power for him, his actions erased them. And the smile he had at the end was fitting. He knew he had to succeed or die. There were no more chances left for Tom Zarek.
I was glad Lee was present for the execution. He spared Zarek’s life and gave him the benefit of the doubt on numerous occasions. In return, Zarek betrayed and made a joke of everything Lee believed in. Lee and his idealism will live on and it’s one of the last things Zarek ever saw.
Oh, Gaeta. Personal vengeance so clouded his judgment. I thought back to Baltar’s trial during the episode. Gaeta had perjured himself in order to make Baltar pay, not just for what happened on New Caprica, but for what he had done to him, failing to be the man he thought him to be. Gaeta couldn’t move on until people had answered for what they had done then and he felt he was living through it all again with Adama - forming an alliance with the Cylons, failing to fight, failing to lead them. This time he wasn’t going to lose. This time someone was going to pay. Only it turned out to be him. He gave up once the FTL drive failed not to save himself, but because the good man in him that remained wasn’t going to allow more innocent people to die. He had been fighting what he thought to be a just fight; now it was merely an exercise in futility.
Okay, seriously, there is a mutiny going on, the basestar and Galactica are going toe to toe with nukes, and Baltar finds time to have sex??? With Lida (her name according to Michael Angeli), we have a Cylon unlike any we have seen before. I almost wondered if she had suffered brain damage. She asks Baltar if he’s injured, he says, “No, I believe the word is damaged”, she takes a literal meaning from his choice of word, and has sex with him to make him feel better. What?
Putting that aside, I actually liked Baltar, a lot, in this episode. He was being honest with himself. He didn’t flee Galactica out of fear (was he really that much safer on the basestar?), he wanted to escape the life he was living. He created the situation himself. He allowed himself to be idolized in exchange for protection and comfort. “I ran, again. I disappeared in the nick of time, again.” When things become hard or unbearable, he always looks for escape, whether it’s retreating into his mind or fleeing to another ship. But, this time, he sees his responsibility. People are counting on him. And he makes a choice to go back, into a dangerous situation if need be. It’s a huge step for him.
An even bigger step is being with Gaeta in his final hours. Baltar is the one in pain at the end. In facing responsibility, he’s facing his role in bringing Gaeta to this point. He helped to destroy the man in front of him. Gaeta, like his “fan club”, had counted on him and he failed him. So it’s his punishment to sit there a listen about a life that could have been if the colonies hadn’t been destroyed, if New Caprica hadn’t happened. And perhaps the bravest thing Gaius Baltar has ever done is to stand there and watch Gaeta be executed. He mad a choice to put Gaeta’s needs in front of his own, to make sure he didn’t die alone and, perhaps more importantly, to make sure his life, the better part of it, would be remembered.
The previously on scene between Lee and Adama was not in last week’s episode. Are they starting that tradition again?
Hera is supposed to be creepy, right? Staring at her injured father, simply going “Ouch”, devoid of any emotion – we may have a little sociopath on our hands. ;)
The epic love story is definitely Adama/Tigh. I was amused that Adama seemed more upset at the loss of Tigh than Laura seemed at the thought of losing Adama.
After too many battles to count, it looks as if metal fatigue is getting the best of the Galactica.
The power walk at the end was sort of cheesy, but it was nice to see how many people weren’t involved in the mutiny.
What the hell happened to Connor?
And from the promo: So Ellen downloaded? How are the final five different again?
Mo Ryan continues her Season 4 Interview Series with Michael Angeli It seems a lot was cut out of this episode. Racetrack had an entire storyline rather than just looking like a fool laughing at Zarek’s joke. The extended version of Zarek’s address to the Quorum would have made his referring to himself as President and the Quorum acknowledging him as Vice President make more sense. I felt something was missing there. Though, I don’t think we needed to see anymore of Baltar on the basestar.
I know preview clips have been appearing online prior to an episode airing and I have been avoiding them. Yes, the former spoiler whore is avoiding potentially spoilery clips. But admireddisorder posted a clip from ‘No Exit’ and said the magic words, “Lee” and “Laura”. Well, I had to watch. As for spoilers, I’d say not really as long as you’ve seen all the episodes to date and figured out long ago what the political endgame would be. And Ron, you magnificent bastard, you picked up the ball and ran with it.
Lee: “I don’t know what to say.”
Me: “Tell her you love her!!!”
That would have made the scene perfect, but I guess this is as close to perfect as I will get. I’ll take it. I’m not greedy. The scene is beautifully reminiscent of their early scenes together and it acknowledges what she and I and anyone who has cared about these two and their relationship have known all along – he’s always been the right one. Lee Adama is the future. And while I agree with Laura about her concerns, he wants to always do the right thing, even if it’s not the smart thing to do in the here and now, I have to wonder if he’ll have more opportunities to do the right thing and not have to compromise his ideals as much.