Sunday, March 18, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: Family law

Spoilers for "Battlestar Galactica" coming up just as soon as I figure out why Lee gets to keep his fancy quarters...

So much going on here, and yet almost all of it is set-up for the mind-blowingness to come with "Crossroads, Part II." And since I'm going to need about seven weeks just to put to paper all my thoughts on that, I'm taking the lazy way out and going straight to the bullet points.
  • How good is Mary McDonnell? So good that, as Romo Lampkin gives his opening statement about how Baltar's capitulation to the Cylons probably saved humanity, you can see Madame President fixing him with an incredible "revenge is a dish best served cold" smile, and she's not even in focus in the shot. Lee's cross-examination of her was also a superb moment from both her and Jamie Bamber, particularly her callback to the days when she called him Captain Apollo and they braided each other's hair and sang "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" together on karaoke nights.
  • Now how great is Michael Hogan? That entire sequence from Tigh visiting Caprica Six's cell through him drunk on the stand through him really drunk and being helped back to his cell by Adama rivaled Dennis Franz on the Classic TV Boozers of all time scale. Tour de freaking force.
  • And while I'm laying out the superlatives, more genius from Bamber and Edward James Olmos. I love that the show's willing to take these relationships to extremes, and that it has actors who can play those extremes.
  • Getting back to Lampkin's opening argument, does he have a point? If Laura was still president (and somehow had allowed herself to be convinced into settling New Caprica), would she have defied the Cylons? And would that have just resulted in her death, or the death of all humanity? It's a shame that the prosecutor can't introduce Baltar's role in the genocide (Lampkin's crowning achievement was getting Caprica Six back on their side), and that nobody knows that Baltar was responsible for the nuclear detonation that killed a good chunk of the fleet (add that to the whiteboard differential) and tipped off the Cylons about the location of New Caprica.
Really, I'm afraid to say anything more this time lest I betray what's coming, so take it away, folks. What did everybody else think?


velvetcannibal said...

Oh my God. I'm totally unspoiled, so I don't know if this is true... but I am a hundred percent convinced that Tory, Tigh, and Anders are Cylons. They can hear a radio transmission that no one else can, (which could be from Earth, right?) and it's making them batshit. Maybe that was the absence of Real!Sharon in this episode, because she's hearing music too.

So much to talk about. Amazing acting. Total destruction of the relationships between Roslin/Lee/Adama. Turned the series on its head with Roslin's cancer returning. Once again she is the dying leader who will bring the Fleet to Earth. Dee finally puts her foot down and had had enough with Lee. She always wanted an Adama, but she wanted the daddy, which is creepy on another level.

Romo wasn't as prominent as I expected him to be, but he was still fantastic.

Caprica is scary again! ChipSix and ChipBaltar! Religious continuity!

My mind is blown already. And there's a Part Two. And the Cylons are coming. I may not survive.

Wasn't I crying over Starbuck last week? I can't believe I didn't think of her once this episode. Wow, writers. Kick Angeli off your team and things will be unbelievable forever.

Anonymous said...

It's not that the prosecutor "can't" bring up the Caprica crimes. It seems that she exercised her prosecutorial discretion NOT to do so. This may be a narrative convenience, but it was the prosecutor's choice to refrain.

I didn't like the BG attempt at a criminal trial. You could tell the screenwriters took their knowledge of courtroom procedure from watching a few episodes of Law and Order, but otherwise, not bad. I like that Lee seemed somewhat nervous about doing the cross examination, which of course he would be. Hotshot pilots aren't accustomed to such things. That worked.

If only I were a television critic and could see all of the episodes before the general public . . . .

Alas, I must wait a week.

Anonymous said...

velvetcannibal, I don't think that Tigh and co. are Cylons. I think it more likely that they had tracer chips implanted into their head during capture on New Caprica. That's what I think their musical malady was all about (the chip was picking up the music frequency not the radio). The Cylons aren't following the fuel ship signature or whatever, they're following Tigh. Then again, I am avoiding spoilers like the plague so I could be wrong.

Part 1 was quite excellent. One beef, I didn't like the scene between Lee and Dualla. It was so short and abrupt. So Dee can put up with adultery but she cannot abide Lee doing what he thinks is right? Could she have given him a pass seeing that his girlfriend just died?

Matter-Eater Lad said...

I kept waiting for Romo or Lee to argue that Baltar's crimes fall under the scope of Roslin's general amnesty for all actions taken on New Caprica...

Anonymous said...

Adama has known Tigh from before the Cylons went away the first time, right?

velvetcannibal said...

"Adama has known Tigh from before the Cylons went away the first time, right?"

I believe they met after the Cylon war, before Adama re-enlisted and worked his way up. I don't think they fought in the war together. But yes, Tigh's age is an interesting thing to grapple with when taking on the Cylon theory.

I do feel like the Adama/Tigh scene where he said "you could never embarass me," along with the focus on their clasped hands, also indicates that Tigh is not what he thinks he is and their relationship will be destroyed by the revelation.

Anonymous said...

What's with Adama trying to protect Roslin during her testimony? Lee's questions about her use of a potential mind altering substance during testimony was perhaps the most relevant question he asked. How can she testify truthfully under oath if she is under its influence? He certainly has the right to inquire about it just as they did with Tigh and his booze.

Kris Eton said...

I don't know what to think about the freaky radio transmission. At first, I thought since Anders was hearing it, that somehow it was related to Starbuck or something. But why are Tory and Tigh also hearing it?

The idea that the Cylons planted something would be nice to believe, but only Tigh was captured, right? Anders was out with the humans while Starbuck was inside the Cylon facility. And I don't remember where Tory was at that time.

Did anyone else watch the scenes for next week? There was a very quick scene of a bunch of very bright light, like it was bursting around the edges of an open door, and I could have sworn a voice said, "Lee." Could this be Starbuck? Alive somewhere as something/someone else????

I was more interested in the radio transmission story than the trial, to tell you the truth. But I think it is interesting that the president's cancer is back.

Tobias said...

Kris -- I did see the scenes from last week, and wished I hadn't -- there was one line of dialogue that seemed to confirm something suggested by this week's episode.

VC -- If Anders is one of the five...well, I'd say that he's one of the few for whom D'Anna's reaction a few episodes ago would have made sense.

Zodin2008 said...

See, this is why I need to stop erading these Blogs so I can actually be surprised by who the 'five' is.

That being said, I found myself pulling for Lee during the trial. I dunno, Bill Adama is really pissing me off these days. He's so high & mighty, I look forward to the horror on his face if say people really close to him like Starbuck and Tigh were in fact, Cylons.

Unknown said...

If Laura Roslin had been president, the fleet would never have settled on New Caprica. That was the turning point of that election; Baltar promised a settlement and no more running; Roslin wanted to keep on searching for earth.

Filipe Furtado said...

I had two legal questions:
1 - Why Lampkin didn't point out the trial was absurd giving that Roslin sign anesty to every Cylon colaborator.
2 - Why the pressecution didn't accuse Baltar for pointing the route to Earth to the Cylons (the one unquestionable betrayal he commit, that there's actual proof of).

Geoff, Baltar is not on trial for setting on New Caprica. And Lampkin scenario still holds, the cylons could have show up at a latter moment, with Roslin back as president.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! The show is BACK!

For the first time since...well, I gotta say, since "Exodus 2," I was completely captivated. You're right, VC -- didn't even *notice* Starbuck was gone, I was so engaged in watching Tigh go beautifully insane and Roslin re-emerge as her old righteous self.

(Don't know if I buy Tory as a Cylon, though -- I didn't see her hear the music as Tigh and Anders did? I just saw her looking hard at Anders -- and we already know Tory is a schemer. Something's up there.)

Alan, tell the producers to throw in the towel and just do a series of BSG miniseries -- they're so good at the long story arc. And so boring at everything else.

Megan Carlson said...

I was wondering why Tory was acting so out of character, and when the President cut her down for being unprofessional, my husband suggested that something related to the President's dreams is causing Tory's behavior. Perhaps she's keeping her up all night, and Tory's exhausted from trying to protect her?