Saturday, January 31, 2009

Battlestar Galactica, "The Oath": Operator, information please

Spoilers for last night's "Battlestar Galactica" coming up just as soon as I organize a fire drill...
"He won't be the last." -Tom Zarek
After two episodes of watching the characters despair over a never-ending onslaught of terrible news, "The Oath" finally sees some of them taking action over it. It was an hour that provoked as visceral a reaction -- dread, mostly, with occasional punctuations of "Hell yeah!" -- as any "Galactica" episode has in a while.

What made "The Oath," written by series vet Mark Verheiden (click here for his episode post-mortem interview with Mo Ryan) and directed by modern noir specialist John Dahl, provoke such strong feelings from me (and based on the impatient e-mails I've gotten asking for this review, everyone else) wasn't just the meticulous way they showed how Gaeta and Zarek pulled off the mutiny. It was how they showed, again and again, characters using the mutiny as an excuse to settle old scores, or, even worse, to let off all of the steam that's built up over this awful four-year journey.

Because the storytelling largely focuses on the upper echelons of the Galactica command structure, we only occasionally get glimpses of how the rest of the rag-tag fleet must feel about all the ordeals they've suffered post-genocide. But of course soldiers from Pegasus would still hold grudges over Adama killing their commander. Of course Anders' ex-girlfriend (or, rather, never-quite-girlfriend) would be furious to realize that the man she was so hung up on isn't a man at all. Of course Lee would be resented for his role in Baltar's trial. Of course the civilian fleet would be fed up with all of Adama's high-hand tactics, and would eagerly greet any opportunity to rebel. Of course the other pilots would fear and distrust Starbuck after her miraculous return from the dead -- What is she? And if she's just Kara, what makes her so special when none of the dead people we actually liked could come back? -- and even moreso when they realized her husband was a Cylon. And, for that matter, of course Starbuck would use this fiasco as an excuse to compartmentalize all her recent angst over who and what she is and get back to being the best at what she does (and what she does isn't very nice).

Verheiden's script very cleverly lets Lee -- a non-mutineer, and one of the few characters who still has a relatively clean conscience -- argue that Gaeta and Zarek have a point about the Cylon alliance. Because Zarek is probably driven as much by power-lust as by his own beliefs, and because Gaeta's own motivations are clouded by everything that he's suffered over the last four years, it's easy to overlook the relative nobility of their cause. But they're probably right. Whatever the practical value of installing the Cylon tech, whatever we know about the rebel Cylons' change of heart, this is still the man who didn't even want to network his computers four years ago now inviting representatives of humanity's greatest foe to install technology no humans actually understand. What happens if Cavil shows up again and has the ability to take control of all the jump drives?

And so even as Zarek is clubbing poor Laird to death, even as Gaeta is twirling his metaphorical mustache while becoming the world's most bad-ass telephone operator, even as those Pegasus vets are promising to revive the old Cain tradition of institutionalized Cylon rape, it wasn't as easy as I wanted it to be to root for Starbuck to start blowing away the bad guys, to cheer on Adama and Tigh as they proved yet again that "old" doesn't necessarily mean "weak." I want the characters I like to survive, want to see Gaeta and Zarek brought to justice but... they're right.

For all the emotional power and rock-em-sock-em action of "The Oath," there were a few spots I found disappointing, and/or that made me lament how much must get left on the cutting room floor each week, and how Ron Moore's fondness for letting major events happen off-camera sometimes gets in theway of the stuff he actually chooses to show. Lee asking Tyrol why he was helping them escape implied there had been a greater rift between Tyrol and humanity than we've seen in the last couple of episodes. Anyone who didn't watch the "Face of the Enemy" webisodes probably missed the added layer of tension between Gaeta and Hoshi (who used to be a couple), and also Baltar's reason for calling Felix. (Baltar was referring to the stuff we learned in the webisodes, right?) Roslin's decision to re-enter the world happened off camera (she was already dressed, wigged and ready to do something to help when Lee and Kara came to her door), and I really didn't like much of the Baltar stuff in the final third.

What we've seen of Baltar over the course of this fourth season says that, while he started off the cult thing as a con job and a survival mechanism, he had grown to believe his own sermons. So to see him back to being cowardly, insincere and solely motivated by self-preservation felt like a cheat -- an easy joke to lighten the tension. For that matter, when last we left the Baltar/Roslin relationship, they had achieved a detente, and she had found a way to let go of her hatred of the guy. To see them sniping at each other again really undercut the moving climax of "Hub," I thought.

But still, as a pure thriller, and a gut-punch, you don't get much better than a cliffhanger that left the local Cylons locked in the brig and preparing to be raped, Roslin and Baltar's ship about to be blown out of the sky, and Adama and Tigh making a last stand in a blind alley of Galactica.

"To be continued..." Evil. They're evil!

Some other thoughts:

• Poor, poor Laird. Other than maybe Cally, has any notable character in the run of the show gotten as short an end of the stick as that guy? First he has to watch his family killed by Cain's goons, then he's pressed into military service, and now this?

• The dialogue about the secondary storage hatch implied that it played a significant role in an earlier episode, but I can't for the life of me remember. Anyone?

• Whatever Gaeta's motivations, Alessandro Juliani is playing the hell out of his moment. Watching him hobble around on that fake leg makes him seem more and more like Tigh on New Caprica, having lost a vital body part to the Cylons and trying not to let that slow him down.

As always, let me remind you: no talking about the previews, or anything you've read online, or anything that could even vaguely be considered a spoiler. Anything along those lines will be deleted, quickly. We clear?

What did everybody else think?

109 comments:

Ross said...

Alan, love your comments on this, Lost, The Shield & Sons of Anarchy specifically.

As to last night, my favorite episode since the exodus from New Caprica. Multiple gasp moments, and great use of multiple third tier characters in pivotal spots.

One question: were she alive, what side would Kat have come down on?

Ross

MCB said...

That's what's so fascinating about the turn this season has taken, Alan -- Adama may have good reasons for wanting those Cylon drives, but Zarek and Gaeta have equally good reasons for not wanting to trust the Cylons, and the way Adama was handling the situation could not have been worse. It's been an interesting theme throughout the series: this career military man is a great *military* leader, but when it comes to dealing with upset civilians who won't obey his orders, he's at a loss.

And yes, that "to be continued" was pure evil!

Anonymous said...

As always I read your comments and feel the need to watch the episode again. And probably again again later today when everyone wakes up and starts posting. I have officially turned into a tv junkie because of your site.

K J Gillenwater said...

Is no one else thinking what I'm thinking? That pretty much everyone is going to die and we are going to be left with a handful of people (cylons or human, I'm not sure) who will end up as the beginning of the next cycle? And that thought really scares me because it means we will likely see the deaths of many characters we've grown attached to over the years.

Great ep. I'm angry there was a cliffhanger, but glad about it all at the same time.

Myles said...

This is one of those examples of an episode that simply runs at a different pace than so many others, but it's most substantial in my eyes because it actually (against all odds) pairs the most tensely ground action-packed episode since "Pegasus" (Exodus' action being more space-driven) with some of the best character movement. It was a wake up call for Roslin, for Starbuck, for Lee, for Adama, and even to an extent Baltar.

It was to my surprise my own review ended up over 3700 words long in a very short period of time with an episode so dense with action, but it was given such meaning by the work of the writers and actors, in particular.

My one question: I'm wondering what you thought of the timestamps, Alan. It's become a bit of an obsession for me, but I'm curious whether they were there at the script stage or added in post in order to heighten the pacing and tension in the episode. Some of them felt redundant, but the collective reminder that this all took place in four hours really helped to set the tone of the episode.

Anonymous said...

I thought this episode was shot so viscerally-you could smell the angry sweat emanating from Gaeta. Everyone looked dirty and damaged, very raw to behold, with all their resentments and fears on display. It seems like Ron Moore etc. are relishing their freedom to do incredibly frakked-up TV with the end now in sight, and I guess it makes me wish that I could see TV creators taking chances like that all the time (yet we are all slaves to the mighty Nielsen and advertising sales, so we get playing-it-safe most of the time).

I was okay with the stuff that was referred to without being seen; I'm a big fan of that technique in general. When Roslin appeared dressed and wigged, you were shocked by the contrast with how weak and human she has seemed lately, after exhibiting almost super-human, heroic strength for so long. That moment might have suffered if we saw her preparing for it. I think it was clear this was her last stand after giving in to weakness for a couple episodes; I'm afraid that she will be immolated or martyred soon.

So yeah, I liked the ep.

Anonymous said...

While I like the mutiny aspect, the motives seem misguided. Everytime Zarek gets into it with Adama the show makes this about democracy and not becoming a dictatorship. IT'S CALLED MARTIAL LAW PEOPLE!!! There's precedent for this and it just seems stupid to have Zarek and the quorum get all upset about not being involved. They've basically been running and fighting non-stop for four years. Of COURSE Adama is going to extend his position and push back the government. There IS no government. You have 50,000 people trying to survive. When you reach some safe haven to start living again, THEN you can take back power, but right now Adama shouldn't have to worry about dealing with the civilian masses. Zarek and Gaeta AREN'T right, but they do have reason to be upset.

Now, if the show just wants to focus on the mutiny as a bunch of people upset with the direction the Admiral is/has taken them, so be it (though, I'd point out that no one has actually suggested a BETTER alternative to Adama's plans, they just know they don't like his). But part of me wished this episode had just been Gaeta coming in all smug, take over, and have Admiral just give up and say, "Fine, take over. OK Mr. Smartypants. Let's see how a pain-in-the-butt bureaucrat and a telephone operator manage a fleet of 50,000 who are running out of supplies, want to fight the cylons (even though you have very little training to do so), and somehow find us a new home. I'll just let you and Zarek solve all our problems since you obviously know everything. I'll be in my room, please come get me when you fix everything."

Oh, and I thought Baltar's comments were about Gaeta stabbing him in his cell and then lying under oath about Baltar's complicency on New Caprica. But I haven't seen the webisodes so I might be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I have a new Saturday morning tradition, I get up and read your blog. Was the secondary storage hatch the one that Callie and Tyrol were trapped in in season 3?

Barry Hertz said...

Alan, I don't believe it was Adama who killed the Pegasus' commander (Cain). Wasn't one of the Natalie version of Six the one who shot Cain in her quarters after Baltar freed her?

Nicole said...

Using Gaeta to bring this "mutiny" about is brilliant because at the start of this series, he really would have been the last person to have pulled off such a stunt. Having watched the webisodes, at least I understood some of his motivations now, but it was still wild to see him callously lie to everyone to set this up. Had Zarek been the only one involved, I don't think I would have even had a second thought of wanting this mutiny to fail, but Gaeta isn't doing this purely as a power grab, as Zarek surely is.

It was nice to see Starbuck back in kickass mode, although she is so incredibly unstable I am surprised that Adama was able to control her at the end.

I didn't view the Roslin/Baltar scenes as backtracking as much as an injection of a little bit of dark humour as a release in a horribly tense situation. Plus, I never really bought that Baltar had moved beyond self-preservation even in his preacher phase. I think Gaeta thought the same, when he callously hung up on Baltar during the last ditch attempt to stop this from happening.

Another lighter moment was the reaction of everyone else during the Adama/Roslin makeout moment. I could almost see the "Just get a room dad" thought bubble from Lee.

I wasn't a big fan of the rape threats resurfacing, especially since it was involving Sharon once again. I know this kind of thing happens in real life "war", but if they're going to play it that way, in real life it could happen to men too. So I could have lived with that aspect being eliminated altogether. It didn't last too long, thankfully, but I was a bit soured by that for those brief moments.


The cliffhanger is evil and I have to hope that Adama and Tigh are going to make it to the finale, and there are still too many episodes left for either of them to perish.

Billy said...

Alan, I assumed that Lee was asking Tyrol why he was helping his father escape more because he had been fired by Adama earlier in season four rather than because of a rift we didn't see. I could be wrong, but that's how it felt to me.

MattB said...

I agree 110% with Alan's comments about Baltar/Roslin - it felt like a copout to pretend like what happened in "Hub" didn't really happen. Same with Gaius's feelings towards his flock - I thought his character had been given a bit of a redemption in that he actually believed in what he was doing.

Same goes for Lee's attitudes towards Tigh and Tyrol - didn't he learn anything about the nature of their "Cylon-ness" when he struck up an alliance with them and when the Final Four, yknow, led them to Earth? How can he still blame them for the genocide led by the skinjobs when he knows they were not actually involved? Could he really not understand that the Final Four are not the same type of Cylons as the rest?

Also, it is disappointing to me that these 3 episodes have featured so little of the Final Four (with the exception of Tigh in the premiere) - shouldn't Tyrol's relationship, or lack thereof with the "humans" be a pretty critical plot thread with less than 8 episodes to go? And the earlier episodes made it sound like he saw himself fully as a Cylon and was living on a Basestar - so how come he's still on Galactica and where did his network of informants come from?

Also another question I thought of - with the human/rebel Cylon alliance, and with 3 of the final 4 cylons walking around the fleet as normal, are they really still holding Caprica Six in the brig?

Was anyone else hoping we would have a reappearance of Head Six in some of the final scenes with Baltar?

But I have to disagree with the notion that Zarek and Gaeta are in the right in any way - even if their argument makes sense or is correct, once you start murdering innocents to further your cause, you are completely wrong morally.

I guess my comments were really just a bunch of questions :)

Anonymous said...

Loved last night’s episode and always look to your reviews first Allen for the best wrap-ups.

But there is something about last night’s episode that has me confused. What is up with Charlie Connor?? The last time we saw this character, he was getting ready to kill Baltar in one of Galactica’s washrooms as payback for Baltar’s actions on New Caprica (including the death of Connor’s son). In that scene, we see Paula, one of Baltar’s followers, wrestle free from Connor’s accomplice and then proceed to repeatedly CLUB Connor with a lead pipe. I always assumed that Connor had to be dead as a result of that attack and yet here we seem him leading the civilian rebellion. Wouldn’t he at least be horribly disfigured and/or still recovering from the attack? This is either a pretty big continuity issue or a deeper plot clue.

Anonymous said...

I just watched the episode again and noticed something that lends credence to Alan's observation that many of the insurrectionists were just using the mutiny to settle old scores. Capt Kelly (a disgraced former senior staff member from as far back as the mini-series) was the leader of the Marines sent after Adama and the others at the airlock.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Much of this episode -- Lee and Kara (somewhere along the line, I stopped thinking of them as Apollo and Starbuck) escorting Roslin though the ship, firefights in the corridors of the ship -- reminded me of the episode very early in the run when Cyclon Centurions were trying to take Galactica. I don't think that's a coincidence, and the similarities remind us just how much has changed. Now the "good guys" are working with Cylons, or Cylons themselves, and the "bad guys" are the ones whose position is one that Adama and Roslin would have had at the start of the series.

As far as the Cylon rape threats -- I think that the torture of Pegasus Six was one of the show's pivotal moments, in that it puts viewers in a tough position. If you are disgusted by how Pegasus Six was treated, you acknowledge that the Cylons are something more than toasters. If, on the other hand, you believe it's impossible to rape a toaster, then you don't really have any reason to be disgusted by anything, do you? Reminding viewers of that all these seasons later forces us to confront once again whether we've come to view any of the Cylons, particularly the final four, as more than just machines.

Omagus said...

Using Gaeta to bring this "mutiny" about is brilliant because at the start of this series, he really would have been the last person to have pulled off such a stunt.

Exactly. Watching his transformation from one of Adama's most loyal people into this rebel leader has been great.


I wasn't a big fan of the rape threats resurfacing, especially since it was involving Sharon once again. I know this kind of thing happens in real life "war", but if they're going to play it that way, in real life it could happen to men too.

I'm also not a big fan of the return of the rape threats. However, I kind of got the implication that all of the locked up Cylons were being threatened with rape, including Anders (and maybe Agathon too, for being a toaster lover).


Could he really not understand that the Final Four are not the same type of Cylons as the rest?

By no means is it a stretch to think that a lot of the the humans might think this way. After 9/11, there was a huge sentiment against anyone of Arab descent, and often even people of Indian descent. When people feel that their lives are in danger and they don't know what's going on or how solutions can be found, it is not a large leap to lash out at targets that they feel are in any way different from them. Lee yelling at Tigh and Tyrol was one of the most believable parts of last night's episode, in my opinion.

alone in the dark said...

I think that BSG and Lost are doing something really important to American TV. They are setting a definite end-date, which means that they can actually tell their stories and advance toward an end point, instead of the endless waffling that sabotages so many successful genre-based shows. I'm looking at you, X-Files.

Loved this episode,but especially loved the Roslin/Adama moment and the reaction of Michael Hogan's Amazing Acting Eyeball.

Omagus said...

But I have to disagree with the notion that Zarek and Gaeta are in the right in any way - even if their argument makes sense or is correct, once you start murdering innocents to further your cause, you are completely wrong morally.

Agreed but I think that is one thing that still separates Gaeta from Zarek. Zarek has absolutely no qualms about killing anyone to get his desired results. But Gaeta has not crossed that line yet. At the moment of the coup, he immediately ordered the soldiers to stop firing, and he refused to kill Adama even though that is what Zarek wanted. Gaeta understands that there are casualties in war but he won't willingly take the life of an innocent.

I don't know if that is going to end up being the seed of redemption for Gaeta. I hope not. But while I have no issues with Zarek being thought of as evil, Gaeta's position is much murkier.

mustang sally said...

I like the way this episode's events resolved everyone's confusion, depression, apathy, etc. Suddenly, everyone had to make a choice & go do a job. Starbuck, obviously, was the most relieved but she is also one of the most confused.

Speaking of confusion, this episode reminded me of the one in which Starbuck waterboards Leoban. We had all been going happily along thinking we knew the good guys from the bad guys & then, as now....well...uh...hmmm. Not so clear, is it.

Apparently Roslin agrees w/ me - Baltar has never changed. The only things he does are for Baltar. The whole redemption/cult thing was nicely played on his part but in the end he's just looking out for his favorite person.

So now we may have two civil wars going - the human one & the Cylon one, w/ some interesting cross-over choices being made.

I feel like there is something more going on between Gaeta & Baltar that i am, perhaps, missing. What was that comment Baltar made about the pen referring to? The lists that Gaeta & Sharon talked about in the webisodes?

As an aside, shouldn't a kid Hera's age be able to feed herself?

MattB said...

At the moment of the coup, he immediately ordered the soldiers to stop firing, and he refused to kill Adama even though that is what Zarek wanted.

That reminds me of another question I had: were those soldiers shooting intentionally, were the shots fired in the heat of the moment due to the stress/standoff of the scene, or were they on Zarek's orders? That scene was a bit confusing - and I'm not sure if we were meant to understand the reasons behind the shooting.

pgillan said...

Nice Wolverine reference.

Anonymous said...

(Baltar was referring to the stuff we learned in the webisodes, right?)

absolutely-- in the 9th webisode (I think)they show a flashback to the scene where Gaeta is talking to Baltar in Baltar's cell, during his trial. The "I literally had a gun to my head..." scene where he hints at Gaeta's complicity in the atrocities on New Caprica. When the scene originally aired Baltar whispers something inaudible to Gaeta, but in the flashback during the webisode you can hear him say "I know what your Eight did" - a reference to the lists that Felix was feeding to the Eight who "seduced" him on New Caprica.

In last night's episode, Baltar makes reference to New Caprica and Felix's pen during the call--
so he was definitely referring to the stuff we learned in the webisodes. He is trying to tell Felix that his actions won't assuage his guilt at being fooled by the Eight on New Caprica. And if anyone knows about the guilt of being seduced into unwittingly bringing about the deaths of of innocent humans, it's Baltar.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Just listened to Ron Moore's podcast, where he addresses a few questions that were raised here:

1)The time/location chyrons were added in post-production, because Moore and the editors worried that the mutiny seemed to be taking too long. They wanted it clear to the audience that this was all going down in a very compressed period of time.

2)The webisodes were written and filmed after this episode. So at the time of this script, the writers hadn't decided that Gaeta and Hoshi were an item, and Baltar's pen reference is definitely not referring to the webisodes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Someone on the NJ.com blog suggested that secondary storage is the place where 85 of Tyrol's guys died in the miniseries because Tigh had to vent that area to contain a fire.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, I don't believe it was Adama who killed the Pegasus' commander (Cain). Wasn't one of the Natalie version of Six the one who shot Cain in her quarters after Baltar freed her?

You're right. But the larger point still stands: Cain saved the crew of the Pegasus through thick and thin, then this washed-up old Adama turns up, goes to war with her, and the next thing you know, she's dead and he's giving the orders. Either way, I imagine there would be a huge amount of resentment from the Pegasus leftovers, as symbolized by the guy who was happy Laird was dead because he felt Laird sucked up to Adama.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also another question I thought of - with the human/rebel Cylon alliance, and with 3 of the final 4 cylons walking around the fleet as normal, are they really still holding Caprica Six in the brig?

No, Moore has said that Six and Athena (who was in the brig at the time for killing Natalie) were part of the blanket Cylon amnesty. It's confusing because Caprica appears to be wearing the same outfit (plus a sweatshirt) she was wearing when she was taken into custody at the end of the algae planet arc, but she's been free and was just rounded up like Anders and the rest.

(Speaking of the algae planet, I like that the show keeps including little references to how all of he fleet's food is still made out of the algae. On the list of things that would make me want to start shooting at everyone, a 24/7 algae diet would be high up there.)

mac13 said...

It certainly was action-packed, and the action was pretty compelling. I was impressed with how they managed to fit the entire cast in one episode without making it feel forced. I like Marc Bernadin's (EW) comments about everybody reverting to their past selves, brought about because of the action - BUT, in some cases, it's turning into more retconning, (like Tyrol's baby), in order to fudge the story and the characters to get to the ending the writers have come up with. To say that Baltar's muddled religious- cult-leader storyline for the past year was basically a "just kidding" from the writers is kind of a cheat. But then again, it wasn't really going anywhere. I'm still liking the progression of Gaeta as mutineer though. That feels like it's been built up and is paying off organically.

I do find it funny that in a show about hanging-on-your-last-thread survival, this late in the game, in the most violent episode of the last season, that they still can't kill off one major character. (And eh, Dualla, Cally and all the BSG-redshirts don't count for me). I mean, does anyone really think Adama or Tigh aren't going to make it to the final episode (in one form or another)?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Another lighter moment was the reaction of everyone else during the Adama/Roslin makeout moment. I could almost see the "Just get a room dad" thought bubble from Lee.

That was great, as was Tigh's reaction to Laura popping out of Bill's bedroom wearing a robe and a smile.

In my haste to get this thing posted to satisfy you ravenous folks (and before my daughter's gymnastics class ended and I had to put the laptop away), I neglected to write much about Bill and Laura's farewell kiss, which was suitably epic. Why do I have this bad feeling that it's the last one they'll ever share?

Also, can someone with a better sense of the geography of the secondary storage room explain why Bill and Saul couldn't escape the same way Lee and Kara did? Once the airlock closes and the Raptor takes off, there's really no point to staying in that room, is there?

Richard Hoeg said...

While I don't think there's any question that this episode delivers more than "Disquiet" did, I still think that the show is spinning its wheels a bit.

With Earth as the main mission, the fleet had somewhere to go, something to do. Now post-Earth, the fleet is simply wandering with no purpose and no goal, and the show feels like it is doing the same. This wouldn't be the end of the world if the show weren't about to end, as the general lack of focus nicely dovetails with what the members of the fleet must be feeling.

The problem, however, is that we know that the show only has seven episodes left. If we aren't going to start moving towards resolution soon, then I'm very worried that the resolution we do get will wind up feeling rushed.

All that being said, Galactica can still do action as well as any show on the major networks. Wasn't it nice to see the return of badass Starbuck?

Michael said...

Am I the only one who has never really learned the minor characters' names? I remember the names Hot Dog and Racetrack, for example, but if they hadn't been called out by name I wouldn't have figured out who they were. Ditto with the Pegasus soldiers, Laird, Connor, Kelly, and the others. Good on them for such tight continuity, though.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The problem, however, is that we know that the show only has seven episodes left. If we aren't going to start moving towards resolution soon, then I'm very worried that the resolution we do get will wind up feeling rushed.

But this feels very much like part of the resolution, as Moore hinted at in the podcast. This isn't some distraction where the reset button will be hit in an episode or two so we can get back to the opera house visions -- this is a major part of what's going to happen to the rag-tag fleet.

Wasn't it nice to see the return of badass Starbuck?

It was a lot of fun on one level, but it was also sad since, as I said in the review, you know she's just reverting to this as a coping mechanism to avoid thinking about her identity crisis.

But, yeah, it's a note Katee Sackhoff plays incredibly well.

Tommy said...

Much of this episode -- Lee and Kara (somewhere along the line, I stopped thinking of them as Apollo and Starbuck) escorting Roslin though the ship, firefights in the corridors of the ship -- reminded me of the episode very early in the run when Cyclon Centurions were trying to take Galactica.

Matter Eater, I was thinking the same thing. But unlike the Cylon Centurions, I couldn't tell who was loyal to Adama and who was on Gaeta's side, which made it even more chaotic and confusing, and deliberately so I should think.

Referring to what someone else wrote above, it is not clear to me what exactly Gaeta and Zarek think they can accomplish. Once they are in full control, where do they plan to go and what do they plan to do?

I did like how they brought back characters from earlier episodes, like the "Sunshine Boys" from Pegasus and Captain Kelly.

One thing that really struck me with this episode, is that unlike previous episodes when the fleet split up and the Colonials were at odds with each other, they were always able to patch up their differences and get along, at least superficially. But now, blood has been spilled and lines crossed. As Adama defiantly barked before being taken from CIC, there will be repercussions. Wounds have been opened that will never heal.

Ryan said...

Re: Why Adama stayed aboard his ship

Beyond Adama's stated reason of ensuring the Raptor can leave, I would imagine Adama would not want to be forced from his ship by anybody, let alone some jack-booted thugs in league with Tom Zarek. A captain forced against his wishes from his own ship is a big no-no in any naval-esque service.

With regards to the rest of the episode, I mostly agree with the other comments on here. It was a pretty fluid episode, and it was nice to see Starbuck back to her old self (sort of). I was a little disappointed in the Baltar moments in the latter portion of the episode, too, but his rant at the end of the premiere suggests that finding an irradiated Earth destroyed whatever sort of rationalization he had made about his role as cult leader.

Richard Hoeg said...

Alan,

It's not that I don't think that the events of this insurrection won't affect the remainder of the show's plot lines. Rather, it's that the civilian/military aspects of the show seem well and truly covered at this point.

At best, I think this story line does a nice job establishing the difficulty people in the fleet are having at being led to the endgame the producers of the show have been hinting at for some time: unification of the Cylon and human societies. But movement towards that endgame itself is not really happening.

I suspect that you are right, by the way, that a total reset will not happen after the "revolution" calms down, but I also suspect that when we finally start moving towards an ending, the real questions(Where is the 13th tribe? What is Starbuck? Who are the in-head people? How did the fleet find Earth?) will take precedence and the revolution will be all but forgotten. That's what I mean by saying that the show appears to be spinning its wheels

Anonymous said...

Some questions:
1. Will Baltar now out Gaeta's secret, about how he frakked an 8 on New Caprica and is complicit in mass murder? I hope so. That would be fantastic. I'm pretty sure, despite this being revealed in the webisodes which were made after the series was wrapped, that Ron Moore intended it to be part of the main series. Could be wrong, though.
2. Will the mutiny fail when the moment of truth arrives, wherein someone really important like Laura Roslin or Bill Adama is to be killed? Gaeta has already shown that he doesn't have the stones to kill Adama. Would any of the marines really be able to do it? Esp, in cold blood and not the heat of the moment?
3. If Tigh dies, is it possible he's going to come back with Ellen in an old school Cylon resurrection? Is this how we're going to learn how the Final Five are still around after millenia?

Anonymous said...

Overall great but a couple things.

1. If 6 was part of the roundup, and given the condition of her face I assume she was, then she must be shack-in up with Sol because she would most certainly be back on the base ship if she were free.

2. I agree that Adama and Sol should/would/and definitely had time to escape with the others up the airlock.

3. I took more exception with the last scene for the fact that Starbuck and Lee left so quickly. They would have never left Adama to fend for himself, they would have stuck with him regardless. And you have to play it back to catch the glimpse of them escaping so quickly back up the hatch. Sorry but there is/was a huge gap here left on the cut-floor. I believe both would have died to stay with Adama and there wasn't even a hint of dialog about it.

4. The part with Tyrol did feel a bit strange. And what's he doing hanging with Baltar in his lair of girly slaves so much? Maybe that's the only place he is welcome when visiting.

5. "No you can keep the doll, no really keep the doll" - The best line ever in BSG.

jim treacher said...

Fantastic episode. I was amazed at the feeling of chaos they were able to build. I never really realized how clautrophobic those passageways are before. And I loved how Adama didn't know just how bad things were until Gaeta couldn't put it off anymore. It all felt real.

For that matter, when last we left the Baltar/Roslin relationship, they had achieved a detente, and she had found a way to let go of her hatred of the guy. To see them sniping at each other again really undercut the moving climax of "Hub," I thought.

I just thought it showed how fragile that civility really was. And he did give her what she wanted, after all. They don't have to pretend to like each other to realize they have common cause.

The dialogue about the secondary storage hatch implied that it played a significant role in an earlier episode, but I can't for the life of me remember.

Weren't they just explaining why the rebels wouldn't have that exit covered?

After 9/11, there was a huge sentiment against anyone of Arab descent, and often even people of Indian descent.

Where was this? There were scattered incidents, yes, but no "huge sentiment." One of the first things Bush after 9/11 did was appear publicly with Muslim-American groups. Guess that's the thanks he gets.

Kensington said...

"For that matter, when last we left the Baltar/Roslin relationship, they had achieved a detente, and she had found a way to let go of her hatred of the guy. To see them sniping at each other again really undercut the moving climax of "Hub," I thought."

It doesn't undercut the climax for me; rather, it makes it all the more poignant. How often in real life do we fight with people, make peace, and then find that the underlying tensions are so deeply rooted that they just can't be dissolved?

keyser soze said...

My favorite line from the entire series was in this episode. On survival, Adama says, "It's all we've got," to which Lee responds, "It's all they left us." Such honesty, such animosity, such desperation. Beautifully written, fantastically delivered.

Chris said...

I really found Alan's criticism of the episode interesting, esp. in context of the developments of "The Hub" and how it seemed like the advancements in character growth implied in that episode seemed to take a step back. For example, the issue of Baltar's "redemption" as head of his flock and how Baltar's return to self-preservation mode in this episode conflicts. What I'm wondering is whether or not Baltar's return to his old ways might be interpreted not as poor writing but instead a statement that some people can't change? That maybe for a while Baltar almost believed his own press, but the minute he became truly threatened by a situation, he backtracked to his old, selfish ways?

Craig Ranapia said...

Poor, poor Laird. Other than maybe Cally, has any notable character in the run of the show gotten as short an end of the stick as that guy? First he has to watch his family killed by Cain's goons, then he's pressed into military service, and now this?

What really shocked me was that I had such a visceral reaction to a character who barely qualified as recurring -- how much screentime has Laid had over the last two seasons? Five minutes in total?

But when Tom Zarek beat him to death, I wanted to see Richard Hatch tied down, as Starbuck and The Old Man took turns scooping the $#@!ing bastard's kneecaps out with teaspoons. Slowly. Without benefit of morpha.

Craig Ranapia said...

For that matter, when last we left the Baltar/Roslin relationship, they had achieved a detente, and she had found a way to let go of her hatred of the guy. To see them sniping at each other again really undercut the moving climax of "Hub," I thought.

Nah, just because Roslin doesn't want Baltar's blood on her hands doesn't mean she has to like him. And perhaps it wasn't the best moment to compare notes on bad hiring choices... Those two just can't help themselves -- Gods bless 'em. And at least they're not working out their issues with small arms fire.

Number Five said...

Certainly the Gaeta/Zarek faction have legitimate grievances, and Adama and Roslin failed as leaders and helped lead to the mutiny. They should have been bringing the Cylons before the fleet, explaining why they needed the jump drives, precautions they could take, etc. But all that aside, the actual mutiny shows just how short-sighted and destructive Gaeta and Zarek's plans are. Other things they've failed to consider: how are they going to run Galactica without most of her crew (and even if Adama regains control of the ship, how can he run it without the mutinous crew members?) What are they going to do when the fully equipped Cylon baseship realizes what the mutiny means for them and reacts? I liked that as successful as Gaeta has been so far, he's been reminded at every point exactly what he's doing, from Laird's death to the CIC shootings.

Of course, the episode itself was so gut-wrenching all I wanted while watching was for the loyalists to slaughter the mutineers. I wanted Gaeta strung up, the pilots shot, etc. As messed up as Starbuck was in getting off on throwing herself into the action, I was cheering for her as the only person to really match the mutineers in understanding the gravity of the situation. It was brutal to watch everything go to pieces.

Mo, thank you for the interviews after each episode...do you know if you'll be able to keep doing them? They are a terrific resource. I love how much is out there to read and react to and think about this show.

They did a great job of implicitly showing how the mutiny needed two tactical elements to be successful: enough Marines to provide firepower, and Gaeta's position as the operations officer. Without his ability to control basically everything, there's no way they could have succeeded. Now, Hoshi should have been answering the phones (Dualla's old job), but Gaeta controlling that is certainly believable.

I understand they don't have time to get into it but I'm fascinated by the way the mutiny went down. How much of the crew was involved? Were certain sections more or less likely to mutiny? I liked the suggestion that lots of Pegasus crew were involved. It's a little sad that the pilots were so involved, since the Hub battle proved they could fight alongside the rebel Cylons. Of course, being held hostage afterwards probably didn't help...nor did D'Anna executing someone before the truce. Interestingly, several of the mutineers were career military people, whereas civilian draftees like Laird and Hot Dog weren't involved. I think Kat would have stuck with Adama. I know Dualla would have.

I agree keyser soze about the Adama/Adama exchange...a short but powerful way of expressing of how they got to that point.

There really is no going back, but since we are heading to the endgame, they don't have to. I wonder if outside events, like a piece of the mythology or Cavil showing up, will force everyone's hand. Either way, I have no idea at all where they're going to go but I believe it's going to only get worse.

Filipe said...

Gaeta blinding Adama for most of the mutiny also give Adama a good taste of what would happen if the cylons decide they didn't need the fleet anymore.

Ross said...

Adama and Tigh are the targets, the 'flag' and a cylon, of this insurrection, in the episode's climax. If they ran, the Marines would continue the chase. Lee and Kara are now co-John McClanes, crawling between BSG's decks, ready to scream "yipee kayea, motherfrackers" when they pounce - they are the wildcatds.

Paraphrasing my friend Seth's point by email earlier today.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Alan, I just can't agree with "I want the characters I like to survive, want to see Gaeta and Zarek brought to justice but... they're right." They are not right. They have a valid point, but both of them are operating from power-hungry grudges and delusion. Do they really want what's best for humanity, or are they working out deep, personal agendas? It's clear that Zarek is. The webisodes make it clear that Gaeta is too. The writer reinforced this by showing how many of the rebels are grinding personal axes here, with no real pretense to a lofty cause whatsoever. The needless deaths they've caused when there are less than 40,000 humans alive are unconscionable.

Yes, there are valid reasons not to trust the Cylons. Mutiny and murder are not the ways to express your disapproval.

electricia said...

MattB - I had the same thought about Caprica Six in the Brig, but I think that she was kidnapped and thrown in there, same as Sam, Helo and Athena. She's was bloodied a bit.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Ranapia said...

Yes, there are valid reasons not to trust the Cylons. Mutiny and murder are not the ways to express your disapproval.

And could I ever so respectfully suggest that it's rather easy for Americans to be rather romantic or 'see the point' about military coups and violent overthrows of democratically elected governments, when you've precisely zero experience of them in living memory.

Instead, a few weeks ago you marked the peaceful and orderly transition of power, after a free, fair and credible election. That had happened for over two centuries -- through wars (civil and world), natural disaster, economic depression, social unrest. That's worth treasuring; and not to be taken for granted.

There are many parts of the world where 'The Oath' would look disturbingly like a documentary. And perhaps that's the real tragedy of it.

JP said...

Great recap as always, but I do want to mention one thing:

"2)The webisodes were written and filmed after this episode. So at the time of this script, the writers hadn't decided that Gaeta and Hoshi were an item, and Baltar's pen reference is definitely not referring to the webisodes."

In the podcast, RDM does address that the Gaeta and Hoshi pairing isn't present in the series due to the production of the webisodes falling after the conclusion of the series, but he doesn't say anything about the Baltar and Gaeta phone call and its relationship to the webisodes.

I'd argue that the pen reference IS referring to the webisodes, even if that wasn't the initial intention at the time the scene was shot. Baltar's comment about "our little secret" is supposed to directly call upon the brig scene in "Taking a Break From All Your Worries," and that scene had a dangling plot thread that wasn't resolved until the revelation about the Sweet Eight in the webisodes. So even though it was a piece of information that wasn't initially plotted at the time of "The Oath," it is a piece of information that was given to audience retroactively through the webisodes: that ultimately, Gaeta is hungering for redemption because of the secret that Baltar knows, and that secret is that Gaeta was seduced and betrayed by and Eight who killed a number of people down on New Caprica.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say Gaeta was "seduced and betrayed." I'd say he allowed himself to live a comfortable lie rather than face the truth about himself and his 8. He'd rather stab Baltar in the neck, or tear the fleet apart with mutiny, than admit that he is complicit in genocide. I never liked him to begin with, but the webisodes showed that he is utterly incapable of self-reflection and prefers delusion. I hope he comes to the end he so richly deserves.

Vic DiGital said...

Best episode in years. So many moments paid off or were revisited, as you mentioned. I'm almost tempted to say that it's made the lameness of the past couple of seasons fade away. For the first time in forever, I can't wait until the next episode.

And I agree about Gaeta. Everything he's been through over the entire series has prepared him for this moment. So many times, a character's sudden change of plan seems to come out of nowhere (hello, politician Lee Adama) for the sake of giving the actor/character something interesting to do. But Gaeta's story arc is so beautifully executed you'd almost think they had this planned from the start. But we know better. In any case, great job. And a great performance that completely seals the deal.

In fact, I'd say this is my favorite episode since the "Collaborators", also starring Gaeta.

It's nice to be excited about BSG again. Let's hope they can carry this clarity of storytelling through to the finale.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"I know Dualla would have."

My wife pointed out that the mutiny could not have taken place as it did if Dualla hadn't killed herself -- if she had been the main communications liaison between the CiC and the rest of the fleet, Lee at the very least would have known what was going on much earlier.

Craig Ranapia said...

Matter-Eater Lad wrote:
My wife pointed out that the mutiny could not have taken place as it did if Dualla hadn't killed herself -- if she had been the main communications liaison between the CiC and the rest of the fleet, Lee at the very least would have known what was going on much earlier.

I wouldn't assume that... Even if she hadn't committed suicide, being on Earth really hit her hard. And remember what finally pushed her into walking out on Lee: Defending Gaius Baltar. I don't know if, if she had lived, she wouldn't have happily helped Felix. She was quite willing to help Tigh and Tory (irony alert!) steal the election for Roslin.

Craig Ranapia said...

And one more nice little character-based grace note. Was it just me, or was Caprica-Six having a panic attack in that scene in the brig with Anders and the Agathons?

Like Starbuck, we usually see Caprica-Six as a character whose default setting is "hardest of the hardcore". When those two are so scared they can't hide it, I begin to worry. A lot.

tanveernaseer said...

What I loved about this episode was how it brought back all the issues that were seemingly brushed aside at the time for plot convenience.

As I wrote in my own review on my blog
, this episode - with some character setup in last week's episode - demonstrated that all this going along with Adama's and/or Roslyn's plans was because the fleet were willing to put their anger and resentment on hold with the expectation that these choices would allow them to find Earth. Now that Earth has been found, there's clearly a need for accountability for past decisions instead of just continuing along with the status quo.

Unfortunately, as much as Gaeta is trying to rally the troops that they should legitimately feel betrayed by the outcome from these decisions, the early scene in this episode showing him grasping his amputated leg implies more that his physical and mental pain is running the show, driving him to blame others in a hope to shed his own sense of guilt for the part he played in all this. Indeed, watching his inability to handle all these requests from the other ships for what to do indicates clearly that this is not a man with any plans for what should be done next; instead, he just wants someone to answer for the loss of hope they all feel now that the dream of Earth proved to be a bust.

If the focus continues to be on the characters and dealing with the consequences of all the choices they made to reach Earth, I think we're going to be in for one fantastic ride.

Norgard said...

there were a few spots [...] that made me lament how much must get left on the cutting room floor each week

I really wish they'd put the scripts online, as Moore did with the miniseries. I found two scripts from the first two seasons, and it was fascinating to read about entire character scenes that were dropped. These scenes made certain plot developments (such as Baltar refusing to tell Adama about Boomer being a Cylon) much more understandable. Any chance you could run that idea by Moore? Maybe remind him that the guy who gave him his first job did the online thing on Dead Zone? ;-)

whatever we know about the rebel Cylons' change of heart

This isn't the first time I've read a line to that respect, and it always puzzles me. What do we "know" about the rebel Cylons' change of heart? I've mulled a bit over the transcripts for season 4.0, and I've found nothing to indicate the Cylons had any change of heart regarding humanity. What exactly have the rebel Cylons done to suggest they're serious about the alliance (I mean beyond "for now we need you to act as human shields when Cavil shows up")?

I'm surprised you didn't mention what I thought was the biggest gut-punch in the entire episode: last week Zarek claimed Adama would do anything to stay in power. This week, right after Gaeta's people take over CIC, Adama tells them there will be no forgiveness. The man forgives fifty billion murders with a shrug, but refuse to blindly obey him and you're done. Talk about Zarek having a point.

"(though, I'd point out that no one has actually suggested a BETTER alternative to Adama's plans, they just know they don't like his)"

In what way is "don't hand control over the fleet's drive capacity to the people who've been consistently trying to kill us for the past four years" not a better alternative?

"How can [Lee] still blame [Tigh, Tyrol, Anders and Tory] for the genocide led by the skinjobs when he knows they were not actually involved?"

How does he know that? First of all, as far as Lee knows they could be lying about their actions. Second, even if they're being truthful to the best of their abilities they could have repressed memories. Boomer didn't remember setting the charges that blew up Galactica's water tank either. Speaking of Boomer, she then saved the entire fleet by finding the ice moon and later destroyed a basestar to help rescue the Kobol landing party before her programming kicked in and she shot Adama. So altruistic behaviour towards humans in the present means absolutely nothing for the future. For all Adama knows, the next nebula they visit might make Tigh hear "Helter Skelter" in his head. If Adama weren't suffering from debilitating brain damage, he'd put the four into a quarantine as comfortable as possible until he has evidence they are not inadvertantly a threat to the fleet.

Anonymous said...

all this talk about webisodes makes me realize that i am going to have to watch them to see these "astonishing revalations" for myself.

i was certain that Baltar was referring to Gaeta pergering himself on the stand suggesting that he was in the room with Baltar signed (special pen) the order to execute 200 humans.

I still believe that that may been what Baltar was referring to. something about the way he said "but i forgive you" had a very personal touch to it.

regardless of this small moment, the oath was one of my favorites this season, and definitely my favorite since returning from the break.

jim treacher said...

My wife pointed out that the mutiny could not have taken place as it did if Dualla hadn't killed herself -- if she had been the main communications liaison between the CiC and the rest of the fleet, Lee at the very least would have known what was going on much earlier.

Not to mention that her suicide was what finally sent Gaeta over the edge.

Abby said...

I think it's absolutely necessary for there to be a coup/attempted coup to mirror the civil war that continues in the Cylon population. Somehow I think RDM is taking this to some kind of integration of cylons and humans and this kind of fall-out after four years of running, false prophecies and distrust almost seems inevitable.

That said, I agree with the epic quailty of Roslin's and Adama's last kiss and the appropriateness of the exchange between the two Adamas.

Starbuck's kneejerk reaction, getting back into fighting while fun and somewhat disconcerting may be a step to her finally accepting what she is, a warrior. Her destiny is another question.

No, really keep the statue.

Chaz said...

I'm very curious to see just how many crew members joined in the mutiny. Are we to assume that Gaeta has enough manpower to run the ship? I got the feeling that there were more mutinous people than loyal ones, though that could just be because we saw basically every supporting pilot character rebel (Racetrack, Skulls, Seelix, Hot Dog, Narcho)

Oh, and I actually loved seeing Baltar turn his back on his flock to save his own hide. Its completely in character, throughout the series his prime motivation has always been self-preservation.

Anonymous said...

Amnesty was earned by the rebel Cylons when they blew up the resurrection ship and ended Cylon immortality. This does not make them warm fuzzies by any stretch, but it was an enormous act of good will on their part. They are essentially at the mercy of their human hosts in the fleet.

Bill Adama et al seem to think that this FTL technology is essential to humanity's continued survival. If he is correct, then reservations about Cylon trustability are academic. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. Frankly, I trust Adama's judgement more than Zarek's or Gaeta's.

Chris said...

Does anyone else think that they kinda ripped off Valkyrie? I mean BSG coup was not as elaborate as the Valkyrie coup but the structure of coup was entirely the same.

Pale Writer said...

Well...I mean...that's kinda how coups work.

Omagus said...

After 9/11, there was a huge sentiment against anyone of Arab descent, and often even people of Indian descent.

Where was this? There were scattered incidents, yes, but no "huge sentiment." One of the first things Bush after 9/11 did was appear publicly with Muslim-American groups. Guess that's the thanks he gets.
--

I suppose "huge sentiment" is a relative term. But I wasn't necessarily just referring to just actions such as mosque burnings that occurred. I'm also talking about the double takes that people gave to brown-skinned people, the higher frequency that people with Arabic names were searched at airports, etc.

For more recent examples just look at the recent presidential election. Some people were trying to make the argument that one of the candidates was secretly Arab/Muslim and thus less qualified for the position.

SJ said...

I am soooo loving seeing Gaeta in mutiny mode.

Is it just me or did Adam's gut look extra large in this episode?

Now I have my winter project... said...

1. As for the Dee aspect: I definitely agree that she would have been a loyalist. Dee was nothing if not loyal.

I also thought it was interesting that two of the mutineers (Felix, of course, and Seelix) were the ones who found Dee after she shot herself. Her suicide was intended to show the depth of the fleet's despair, but I can see it also just pushing both Felix and Seelix (hey, that rhymes!) over the edge into feeling like everything is just frakked beyond repair. And that would be how you would need to feel to do something as dumb and desperate as this coup.

2. The websisodes: I think that has to be what Gaeta and Baltar were talking about. It works because if you've seen them, you know about the stuff with Sharon. But even if you haven't you could easily think they are talking about Gaeta having perjured himself. Really, if you haven't seen the webisodes, you MUST. They really help you understand where Felix's head is. If you have Comcast you can watch them OnDemand.

3. Am I the only one who wants to rewatch the entire series, especially the first two seasons? This episode was so much about settling scores and old resentments that I feel like I need a refresher.

LJ said...

As an aside, shouldn't a kid Hera's age be able to feed herself?

Mustang Sally, I assumed they were feeding her because algae mash doesn't taste very nice. Chances are if they don't feed it to her, she just won't eat. Or she'll start decorating the room with flying globs of algae. That is, unless she's significantly more mature than the average 3-year-old, which seems a bit unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Allen ... You get way more comments here than on The Star's page, what the heck is up with that? Why do you even work for them? :(

Otto Man said...

After 9/11, there was a huge sentiment against anyone of Arab descent, and often even people of Indian descent.

Where was this? There were scattered incidents, yes, but no "huge sentiment."

I live in New York, and there was palpable tension in the months after 9/11 against anyone who even remotely looked Arab. Sikhs were getting beaten up for their turbans. Most cabbies with Middle Eastern names even took their nametags out of their cabs, even though that could have cost them their jobs.

Yes, Bush deserves immense credit for trying to calm the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab feelings after 9/11 but his actions didn't magically make all that disappear.

Mrglass said...

This coup reminded me of Galtar's speech last episode, when he said that God should be held accountable because humans did nothing wrong, and He should come to apologize. Well, since God didn't show up, the fleet is doing the next best thing and holds Adama and Roslin responsible for all their mistakes and lies. Unlike so many other series, Galactica doesn't sweep everything that happened before under the rug for the sake of advancing the storyline: a reckoning is coming indeed.

Sadly, it is hard to disagree with the rebels. Roslin in particular has a certain Marie-Antoinette vibe to her lately. The Earth is a nuclear wasteland and there is nowhere else to go? I'll just chill with my lover, let the fleet eat cake (or algae)!

At this point what side to support? Only the... Cylons in the brig are really likable now. Certainly not Adama the dictator, Zerek the power-hungry, or Kara the homicidal lunatic. Yet we still somehow root for them all. It looks like the end of this great show will be amazing.

mustang sally said...

I assumed they were feeding her because algae mash doesn't taste very nice. Chances are if they don't feed it to her, she just won't eat.

LJ, having had a kid, i'm not buying that - if a 3 year old doesn't want to eat something, it's not getting swallowed no matter how it gets into her mouth. Also, i'm not sure if it's deliberate (being the only human/Cylon hybrid & all) but Hera kind of gives me the creeps in general. Besides the SIX coloring book, all she does is run away & fix that otherworldly stare on someone.

Jason said...

Great moments for Gaeta in this episode, but seriously, there's only way this should end for him. Two words, Felix: Firing Squad.

Kensington said...

"For more recent examples just look at the recent presidential election. Some people were trying to make the argument that one of the candidates was secretly Arab/Muslim and thus less qualified for the position."

The issue wasn't whether Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim, it was whether Barack Obama was being deceptive about who he was. Not that he was Muslim, but that he might be hiding that he was.

The issues were transparency and honesty, not religion.

Now maybe we can get back to Battlestar Galactica, yes?

Kensington said...

Also, for the record, and just to head off any further diversions off-topic, I did not share those concerns about Barack Obama then, and am not trying to promote them now, either. I just recognize that the matter was more complicated than simply "is he or isn't he."

And, again, back to Battlestar Galactica.

Norgard said...

"Amnesty was earned by the rebel Cylons when they blew up the resurrection ship and ended Cylon immortality. This does not make them warm fuzzies by any stretch, but it was an enormous act of good will on their part."

They agreed to destroy the Hub because otherwise the fleet wouldn't have helped them get D'Anna, and at the time they thought getting D'Anna to take them to Earth would be their best chance to escape Cavil's wrath. How does this translate into "we're not gonna screw you over the moment we can", again? Note that they quite happily went back to chucking humans out of airlocks in "Revelations".

"They are essentially at the mercy of their human hosts in the fleet."


You don't make alliances with mortal enemies at your mercy. I suspect if Adama just took the minimal step of treating the Cylons like prisoners whose sentences were mitigated to life without parole in exchange for their cooperation, there'd be a lot less unhappiness in the fleet. But then again, that would make rudimentary sense, and if Adama would stop acting like a total idiot for a second, there'd be no plot.

"Bill Adama et al seem to think that this FTL technology is essential to humanity's continued survival. If he is correct, then reservations about Cylon trustability are academic. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. Frankly, I trust Adama's judgement more than Zarek's or Gaeta's."

Adama trusts Tyrol on FTL technology even though he has personal being-shot experience that Cylon sleeper agents can betray humanity despite their best intentions. Tyrol himself hasn't be sure of his trustworthiness in season 4.0. That alone makes Adama's judgment questionable.

Moreover, in "Dirty Hands", Adama and Roslin were established as too stupid to grasp the incredibly complex concept of "overworked staff + complicated fuel machinery = fleet crippling mistakes". So even if Tyrol is trustworthy, they aren't smart enough to fully grasp the implications and particularly dangers of installing Cylon technology.

Finally, if the writers want us to believe Adama is correct it would be nice to actually, you know, show that. The fleet has successfully evaded the Cylons for fours years and found four (three, if you don't want to count Earth) habitable planets. And all of a sudden their situation is so dire that they can't even afford the minimal precaution of having the Cylons train Laird's deck crew so that Laird's men can install the drives themselves? Which is another thing that would probably go a long way to alleviate the fleet's concerns -- along with, I don't know, using the superior Cylon technology on selected ships to scout New Caprica and Kobol and at least take on supplies there -- but which Adama can never consider because the moment he stops being stupid the show is over.

Norgard said...

Oh, and the idea that destroying the hub somehow ended instead of just temporarily disrupting Cylon immortality is something that really needs to be explained before the series ends. It's a freaking ship. Ships can be rebuilt. Did they misplace the construction plans?

Maura said...

Finally, if the writers want us to believe Adama is correct it would be nice to actually, you know, show that.

I think the writers want us to believe what we choose to believe. They're telling us a story and letting us make our own decisions.

Like Alan, I had the feeling that Adama is never going to see Roslin again. The thought of it makes my heart sink.

Is no one else thinking what I'm thinking? That pretty much everyone is going to die and we are going to be left with a handful of people (cylons or human, I'm not sure) who will end up as the beginning of the next cycle? And that thought really scares me because it means we will likely see the deaths of many characters we've grown attached to over the years.

I'm thinking that. I'll be shocked if more than a handful of people survive. I expect that some cylons and some humans will survive, at which point they'll have to learn to live together.

And yes, that "to be continued" was pure evil!

In the best way possible, of course. :)

Anonymous said...

Kensington--I'm sorry to carry on off topic, but your last comment is really off the mark. Canvassing for Obama, one heard many people say, "I won't vote for a Muslim." They didn't say, "I won't vote for a Muslim who isn't up-front about who he is." They thought he was a Muslim and that's why they wouldn't vote for him. To deny a pervasive anti-Muslim climate in the U.S.--where a CNN talk-show host asked a Muslim congressman to prove that he wasn't working with America's enemies--is churlish.

Fairview said...

I think it's possible that in the end there will only be 12 survivors, some cylon, some human. The cycle will begin again with the group of 12 having to use cylon technology to re-populate both their races in a new form.

It's fun to think about who that 12 would be.

Andi said...

12 cylons = 12 new tribes?
Starbuck = 13th

Joan said...

Great comment thread on a great episode.

FWIW, I agree with the Adama decision that Cylon FTL drives are a necessity at this point. They know Cavil is out there and will be coming for them, and without the Cylon FTLs, they don't stand much of a chance of outrunning them. So while this mutiny is going on, in the background you have the countdown -- how much longer until Cavil & co find them and try to wipe them all out, finish what they started?

I believe we know that the rebel Cylons have no desire to destroy humanity -- it goes all the way back to Caprica 6 and the Eight who offed D'Anna during that cave-in on Caprica. They were willing to kill a Cylon to save humans. They destroyed the Resurrection Ship -- can it be rebuilt? Excellent question, but after the Cylon plague, is there anyone left to rebuild it? Both sides have been devastated here but it seems to me that the Cylons still have the upper hand.

About Gaeta: as someone who has had more physical therapy than should ever be required, it pisses me off every time I see him standing with that prosthetic leg, which is too long. He has to hold it out to the side which is displacing his hip. A very, very simple adjustment to it would make it more comfortable for him and would probably alleviate a lot of the pain he's still feeling in his knee. Constant pain does things to some people, and I'm sure it's a contributing factor to the decisions he has been making.

But other than his singing voice? I've never liked Gaeta.

Oh, and as for the "Adama is stupid" for not doing x,y, and z: how do you know he's not? In this program, you can never tell what's happening off-screen.

Craig Ranapia said...

About Gaeta: as someone who has had more physical therapy than should ever be required, it pisses me off every time I see him standing with that prosthetic leg, which is too long. He has to hold it out to the side which is displacing his hip. A very, very simple adjustment to it would make it more comfortable for him and would probably alleviate a lot of the pain he's still feeling in his knee. Constant pain does things to some people, and I'm sure it's a contributing factor to the decisions he has been making.

You're probably right -- because I rather doubt John Dahl was putting in all those close ups of Gaeta scratching that joint to make up the running time.

But I think sometimes we forget that Cottle isn't one of the docs out of Star Trek who can cure anything with a blinking-pinging salt shaker and enough technobabble jibber-jabber. Like everyone else, I think he's been forced to operate way above his pay grade, under abysmal conditions, for way too long. And sometimes he doesn't get it right.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

The fact that Alessandro Juliani has two legs also probably explains why his prosthetic doesn't look quite right. I'd love to know when we're seeing a practical effect and when they're using CGI.

jim treacher said...

Kensington and I just got confused about who the real victims were. Sorry, everybody!

Karen said...

As to which side is "right": what I've loved about this show from the mini-series onward is that it embraces the complexity of right and wrong. No decision made is ever without its drawbacks. One can almost always see the validity in the other side's arguments.

Me, I loved this episode. As we get closer to the known end of the series, all bets are off. I didn't know who might have died in the battle--it might have happened to anyone.

I agree that Gaeta's story arc from the start has clearly led him to this point. What I found interesting is that he wasn't capable of seeing his commonalities with the rebel Cylons. The rebels on Galactica--far more than the Final Four--broke with their people, violently and permanently. Gaeta and his supporters don't trust them--and so they break with their people, violently and permanently.

I can't wait to see where this takes us.

Baciami said...

Aside from the tactical importance for the mutiny of Dee's death giving Felix control of comms in CIC, her absence for me actually has a greater impact. Think of who she was with on last day: Lee, Helo, Athena, and Hera. Dee would be loyalist because she would know that a mutiny would in all probability result in the death of these people she cared about most. I think she would have tried to talk Felix out of it, especially if she learned that he was in league with Zarek. In Bastille Day, she makes no bones about her extreme distaste for her fellow Sagittaron. Once she got wind of Gaeta's angst morphing from disrespect (not using "sir") and general snarkiness (defending Zarek's new law that captains could refuse FTL upgrades to Adama) into sowing mutiny, she would have tried to talk Felix out of it. Failing that, she would have then outted him to Adama. One last Felix comment: don't forget his leg loss has turned him into a budding drug addict for morpha.

Number Five said...

[i]How does this translate into "we're not gonna screw you over the moment we can", again?[/i]

Destroying the Hub goes way beyond doing it only for tactical benefits, and dialogue from the Cylons confirms this. They thought the only way they could progress as a species was to be mortal. They wanted to find Earth because they thought they would find answers about their God and origins, not because they were evading Cavil's forces. Again, they haven't issued an official apology but the signs are there that the Cylons want to move beyond who they were and what they did before. Finally, I don't think re-building the Hub is like rebuilding a house...if it's even possible after the Cylon civil war, it would be a massive project, and the rebel Cylons have no desire to do it.

[i]You don't make alliances with mortal enemies at your mercy.[/i]

Actually, I think this is more of a Cold War MAD scenario...Galactica could destroy the base ship, but not before it destroys the civilian fleet with nukes, and vice versa. And "we'll treat you like prisoners instead of killing you if you cooperate with us" makes zero sense.

[i]Adama trusts Tyrol on FTL technology even though he has personal being-shot experience that Cylon sleeper agents can betray humanity despite their best intentions.[/i]

We the audience have known this for longer, but the characters also now realize there is a significant difference between seven and the five. Maybe leaving Tigh as the XO is questionable, but locking them all up on the fear they'll be like Boomer has no merit.

[i]Adama and Roslin were established as too stupid to grasp the incredibly complex concept of "overworked staff + complicated fuel machinery = fleet crippling mistakes".[/i]

This is a mischaracterization of their reaction. They were right that the tylium had to be mined. Tyrol was right that the workers needed some a combination of rest and humane treatment. They were too authoritarian, and Tyrol's strike made them realize that. It was a case of bad leadership, but not stupidity or tyranny.

[i]The fleet has successfully evaded the Cylons for fours years and found four (three, if you don't want to count Earth) habitable planets.[/i]

They have, and that's a credit to Adama and Roslin's leadership. It hasn't been perfect and it's been too anti-democratic, but bottom line, they've survived the Cylons and found Kobol, Earth, etc. But they've also faced close calls regarding resources, and they're no longer following any kind of sign posts to Earth. So when Adama decides that, tactically, the FTL drives will help them, and strategically they need a more permanent alliance with the Cylons, he's making the right decision.

I agree that they've made a number of mistakes regarding communicating with the fleet, and their leadership temporarily collapsed after finding Earth. And there are ways to alleviate the dangers they should pursue. I also agree that we the audience, and the fleet, have seen too little about what the rebel Cylons want to do, how they feel about humanity, guilt over the genocide, etc. But your arguments cast Adama and Roslin as stupid tyrants and the rebel Cylons as unchanged from the miniseries, and that's not true. On the general decisions, Adama is right, and the mutineers have no real plan or alternative beyond narrow-mindedness and self-destruction.

[i]I think the writers want us to believe what we choose to believe. They're telling us a story and letting us make our own decisions.[/i]

I agree, and I love that the show rarely forces us into making us judge or interpret in a particular way. My arguments above are my interpretation based on what is depicted on the show, not what I think the writers want us to believe.

Number Five said...

Whoops, sorry...I swear that's how the Cylons use HTML tags!

MattB said...

I read in a recent interview with Ron Moore that the line "And they have a plan" from the opening about the Cylons was something inserted by the marketing people, and had none of the writers or producers had anything to do with it.

In other words, the Cylons didn't have "a plan" at all.

Is that really true? Is anyone else feel a sense of disappointment after reading that?

Adam Whitehead said...

"Someone on the NJ.com blog suggested that secondary storage is the place where 85 of Tyrol's guys died in the miniseries because Tigh had to vent that area to contain a fire."

No, the secondary storage bay is where Tyrol and Cally got stuck in Season 3 when the blast doors came down and they had to be shot out the airlock into a waiting Raptor. I think it was "Day in the Life".

Pale Writer said...

No. That was airlock 12.

Anonymous said...

Norgard: If you want to second-guess the writers, go right ahead, but then yo might as well write your own show and forget about this one. This show has stated that the Cylons cannot rebuild the Resurrection Hub. It states that the Cylons who destroyed it chose to be mortal, and it wasn't a half measure. It indicates that only Cylons can install the FTL technology (Chief said he couldn't grasp it). It suggests that the rebel Cylons are not going to screw humanity over as soon as they can, and that Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders can be trusted because they are different. Railing against these things because they are bad writing is fine, if that's what you think. However, calling a character in the show like Bill Adama stupid for living in the universe the writers have created, because it doesn't conform to your idea of what that universe should be, seems rather a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Is no one else thinking what I'm thinking? That pretty much everyone is going to die and we are going to be left with a handful of people (cylons or human, I'm not sure) who will end up as the beginning of the next cycle? And that thought really scares me because it means we will likely see the deaths of many characters we've grown attached to over the years.

Heh. I look forward to it. Most of these so-called "beloved" characters don't deserve to survive. I can't wait to see Starbuck, Gaeta, Roslyn (just die already!), Zarek and Adama finally bite it. I hate them all. I enjoy watching them destroy each other. It seems fitting. I would be disappointed if the series didn't end in death for all of them. None of them have the moral high ground. They are all despicable and irredeemable.

As for who should survive... Lee, definitely, Sam, Sharon and her husband. At this point, I'm more sympathetic to the Cyclons. The humans have only shown themselves to be unworthy and deserving of genocide.

Anonymous said...

Awesome episode. That was the kind of thing that keeps me tuning in (and so much better than watching Roslin jog).

I don't share Alan's ambivalence about the mutineers. I want Gaeta dead, as well as murderous Zarek and that rapist from Pegasus. This episode shows that there is no good from Adama's benevolence in the past - amnesty for people like the Pegasus crew, Zarek, etc just comes back to bite you.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the episode quite a bit, but your comments, less so. I think you're a dope with nothing to say.

Anonymous said...

Small plot point: I wonder why everyone accepts without question that the resurrection hub's destruction means the cylons cannot be reborn and that the hub itself cannot be rebuilt. Seems there could be redundant systems - everything else about the cyclons works that way. Probably because they believe Athena but among the common folk who don't know her background (and among some who do but still don't trust her) you would think this would be a questioned assumption.
- anonymoose

Norgard said...

"FWIW, I agree with the Adama decision that Cylon FTL drives are a necessity at this point. They know Cavil is out there and will be coming for them, and without the Cylon FTLs, they don't stand much of a chance of outrunning them."

Speaking of that, Ron Moore makes an intriguing comment in the interview with Mo Ryan last week:

"[Adama] didn’t exactly put Cylon technology aboard Galactica. He was saying, “Sure, those other ships in the fleet. Maybe we’ll put Cylon technology on their ships.”"

So, what's the plan again? The fleet can keep running from Cavil with the basestar (they can't "outrun" them unless you believe the rebel Cylons managed to nab all the good Cylon engineers. With drives of comparable quality, the best the fleet could hope for is to keep the distance more or less constant) while Galactica stays behind?

"Actually, I think this is more of a Cold War MAD scenario... Galactica could destroy the base ship, but not before it destroys the civilian fleet with nukes, and vice versa. And "we'll treat you like prisoners instead of killing you if you cooperate with us" makes zero sense."

Then they're not really at Galactica's mercy, as the anonymous comment claimed. And you misread what I wrote. I said Adama should treat them like prisoners, but could spare their lives in exchange for their cooperation. Again, this was in the context of the "mercy" comment. In that situation the Cylons wouldn't have much of a choice.

"This is a mischaracterization of their reaction."

No, it isn't. This is the relevant part from the transcript. Note the bolded part. Note that Roslin completely ignores the larger part of Fenner's complaints. Note that Adama thinks the problem can be fixed by ignoring it. They honestly didn't understand the problem.

Adama: We're still investigating the situation, but it seems that the tylium was seriously contaminated with impurities. Most likely, it's a problem with the refining process.
Roslin: The hell's goin' on there? That refinery used to be the most reliable ship in the Fleet. Now every day, I start with a stack of messages from the chief -- what is his name?
Adama: Xeno Fenner.
Roslin: Fenner. Complaining about living conditions, and deliveries, and, uh, spare parts ... and compensation, if you can believe that. We're on the run for our lives, and the guy wants to talk about overtime bonuses.
Adama: Well, we've been more than patient with Fenner and his production problems. Two weeks of sitting here waiting for him to get his act together...

"Destroying the Hub goes way beyond doing it only for tactical benefits, and dialogue from the Cylons confirms this. They thought the only way they could progress as a species was to be mortal."

You realise you're making my point, right? If the Cylons thought they themselves would benefit from the destruction of the Hub (they also point out that the Hub is useless to them anyway since Cavil controls it), it doesn't show any goodwill on their part.

"I believe we know that the rebel Cylons have no desire to destroy humanity -- it goes all the way back to Caprica 6 and the Eight who offed D'Anna during that cave-in on Caprica. They were willing to kill a Cylon to save humans."

No, they were willing to "punch out" a Cylon to save humans. They were perfectly aware that D'Anna would download into a spiffy new body within hours. Also, remember that they went along with the torture chambers on New Caprica. Remember that they went along with the death squads. Remember that they went along with trying to nuke the colony in the end. They didn't stick with saving humans for very long, did they?

"I think the writers want us to believe what we choose to believe. They're telling us a story and letting us make our own decisions."

I don't think when Mark Verheiden says (in his interview with Mo Ryan) that "Gaeta's motivations are pure, [...] and that’s the real tragedy of the story." he's referring to the fact that the mutiny will ultimately fail.

By the way, speaking of that interview: way back in "Collaborators", Mark Verheiden wrote a scene where Zarek cedes the presidency to Roslin because otherwise Adama would throw him in the brig. In real life, we would call a military commander threatening the elected (Vice) President into abdicating in favour of his girlfriend a coup. Nobody in his right mind would claim that a government where any official who doesn't kowtow to the military is thrown into the brig (as was Zarek again in "Disquiet" for acting as the Vice President) is anything but a military dictatorship. And yet, Verheiden says "Adama was definitely leaning that direction" which presupposes that the fleet hasn't already been there since the second exodus.

And that's the real problem: it's all nice and well to say "the writers want us to believe whatever we choose to believe", but unless "whatever we choose to believe" is so arbitrary as to have nothing to do with the series itself (if some of the comments here are to be believed, one has to imagine two hours of cut material for every episode), what we can believe about the characters and events is limited by what the writers choose to show us, and if the writers aren't aware of the implications of their own stories, they can't really set up the situations they want to set up. You can't create moral shades of grey if you've unwittingly dipped into the black colour pot.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Ranapia said...

By the way, speaking of that interview: way back in "Collaborators", Mark Verheiden wrote a scene where Zarek cedes the presidency to Roslin because otherwise Adama would throw him in the brig. In real life, we would call a military commander threatening the elected (Vice) President into abdicating in favour of his girlfriend a coup.

Norgard: The first rule of textual analysis is that your paraphrases need to be accurate. In that scene, Xarek stated the bleeding obvious -- that Adama has never trusted him, and never will. For fraks sake, it's not as if Adama doesn't have good reason -- not least that Zarek had just blithely admitted to running an extra-judicial death squad that murdered at least one member of his crew. (Though, with the benefit of hindsight, whacking Gaeta wasn't such a bad call.)

By the way, Adama and Baltar were hardly BFFs either. But while Adama regarded GB as a flake, he was the legitimately elected President of the Colonies and that was that.

Zarek also pointed out, to Roslin, that considering his claim on the Presidency was as Gaius Baltar's Veep, his credibility wasn't exactly high among the civilian population either. Not in the immediate aftermath of the escape from New Caprica.

If you're a stickler for constitutional niceties, Zarek was -- as far as I know -- perfectly well within his rights to appoint Roslin as VP, then resign. Both acts with the assent of the quorum.

Craig Ranapia said...

Small plot point: I wonder why everyone accepts without question that the resurrection hub's destruction means the cylons cannot be reborn and that the hub itself cannot be rebuilt. Seems there could be redundant systems - everything else about the cyclons works that way.

Because if the Resurrection Hub was that easy to rebuild -- or there was a backup stashed some where -- why is it so heavily defended? Why does the Hub randomly jump at regular intervals? Why were the Rebels so reluctant to revel the Hub's co-ordinates, and put such weight on its destruction? Why did Cavil freak out at the idea of the Hub being attacked if it didn't matter?

Anonymous said...

alan, is there any way to get this Craig Ranapia to stop posting because the spoilers of his every post are getting ridiculous.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Ranapia said...

What's ridiculous is your Mirror Universe/Bizarro world definition of "spoilers" -- which apparently includes addressing a nitpick of the episode under review by referring to an episode from season three, which was originally broadcast over two years ago?

If your definition of spoilers is that broad, perhaps you should be telling Alan to shut down this blog and stop writing about television, full stop and period. He's also perfectly capable of articulating, and enforcing, his own spoiler policy. I don't think I've ever broken that, and would have had any comment that did so promptly deleted.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify: I agree that Ron Moore sets it out as true and we as an audience know that it's true. I was simply questioning why all the (non-cylon) denizens of Galactica and the fleet accepted it so readily. It's not a big deal, really. - anonymoose

CR comment: Because if the Resurrection Hub was that easy to rebuild -- . . . being attacked if it didn't matter?
in response to: Small plot point: I wonder why everyone accepts without question that the resurrection hub's destruction means the cylons cannot be reborn . . .

Tommy said...

The humans have only shown themselves to be unworthy and deserving of genocide.

And that brings us back to the episode Resurrection Ship Part 2, when Caprica Sharon tells Adama that maybe humans don't deserve to survive. Then Adama orders Starbuck to stand down from killing Cain by telling her, "It's not enough to survive. One must also be worthy of survival."

With the blood that has been shed in the mutiny, the humans seem to be forfeiting their worthiness to survive.

Maura said...

And that's the real problem: it's all nice and well to say "the writers want us to believe whatever we choose to believe", but unless "whatever we choose to believe" is so arbitrary as to have nothing to do with the series itself (if some of the comments here are to be believed, one has to imagine two hours of cut material for every episode), what we can believe about the characters and events is limited by what the writers choose to show us, and if the writers aren't aware of the implications of their own stories, they can't really set up the situations they want to set up. You can't create moral shades of grey if you've unwittingly dipped into the black colour pot.

I agree that what we believe is limited by what the writers choose to show us, but I don't think there's very much that's dipped into that black color pot, which was my point. BSG is all about moral ambiguity. I'm just not seeing anything that indicates the writers want us to believe Adama, or Gaeta for that matter, is right. Even Verheiden saying that Gaeta's motivations are pure doesn't indicate that he's right. The road to hell, and all that stuff.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm late on this one but just to say that Gaeta was the perfect person for this not only because of all the torment of various kinds he's been through, but he's already been a traitor. It just happened he was on the "good" side of taking down the president last time.

Love the episode, seeing Adama and Tigh together ready to kick some ass, YEAH!!!! I like BSG episodes with some real up close action and cylons. We've not had nearly enough of that lately.

-EmeraldLiz

Anonymous said...

Watching this series now, and it's been a pleasure to read your pieces as I watch each episode.

Inspired to post because I thought this episode was a real disappointment; after the excitement that was the start of this season, we're back to some of the show's weakest work: political scheming done with the nuance of a sledgehammer, and characters acting irrationally and inconsistent with how they've been developed.

So not only is it frustrating in context -- Earth was an underplayed blip of disappointment and now the beaten-to-death "can we trust the Cylons?" storyline comes once again to the fore -- but it's also a supremely frustrating episode on its own terms. Rather than allow there to be nuance, Moore plays to standard-fare good v. evil; even if Gaeta and Zarek are right, teaming up with the creepy rapists of Pegasus cements how we're supposed to view this as a misguided attempt to overthrow our rightful heroes who, despite the occasional flaw, really deserve all the cred they have.

Except they don't! Roslin abdicated her power when the fleet needed her most, all because she couldn't confront her own failure; Adama's military tactics are blinded by personal relationships; Lee and Kara are reverted to Bill Adama foot soldiers after years of character development that brought them into their own. There's a world in which this could be interesting, but when played so heavily toward "root for Adama/Roslin, because they know what they're doing" it ends up frustrating rather than stirringly anti-heroic. And it rings hollow w/r/t the characters, who have developed sense and political acumen and distinct personalities over the past 3.5 seasons, all now thrown out in favor of a clunky "our protagonists team up together!" storyline that seems to think its most interesting point -- that maybe they're really in the wrong here -- is something that nonetheless deserves our sympathy, because they've been the protagonists all these years and we're meant to trust in their intuition however facially questionable (and most obnoxiously: inconsistent) it is.