Saturday, February 07, 2009

Battlestar Galactica, "Blood on the Scales": Reap the whirlwind

Spoilers for tonight's "Battlestar Galactica" coming up just as soon as I enjoy a smoke and a hot cup of coffee...
"No. Not now, not ever. Do you hear me? I will use every cannon, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon I have down to my own eye teeth to end you! I swear it! I'm coming for all of you!" -President Roslin

"This was a hell of a ship once." -Captain Kelly

Wow, wow, wow, wow.


Did I mention wow?

There's a part of me that watches an episode like "Blood on the Scales" -- which managed to be even more moving and shocking and bad-ass than last week's "The Oath," which I didn't think was possible -- and recognizes that so much of what makes it brilliant is only possible because the show is coming to an end and the writers can throw caution to the wind. But there's a part of me that watches an episode like this and despairs at the thought of a TV universe without "Battlestar Galactica," because... well, you almost don't need me to tell you why this one was brilliant, do you?

The first of the two lines quoted above was the obvious one, as Madame President, convinced that that backstabbing weasel Tom Zarek has caused the death of the man she loves, makes it clear that she will never back down, never surrender and delivers an chill-inducing speech that's part Churchill, part Jean-Luc Picard. Sometime around "Hub," I wrote that I was running out of words to adequately convey the growing brilliance of Mary McDonnell. At this point, I feel like my lexicon of superlatives is exhausted, and that stinks, because there should be a way for me to properly pay homage to how this woman just keeps getting better and better and better, even at this late date, no matter what kind of emotion (fear, resignation, grief, blind rage, etc.) she's asked to play. (Insert boilerplate screed against the Emmys here.)

The other scene I quoted, where Tyrol and Kelly reminisced on old times as Kelly debated whether to kill the chief or let him get back to playing a stocky version of John McClain, wasn't nearly as flashy, but in some ways, it affected me more. Galactica was a hell of a ship once, even in its days as a museum piece. Its crew had a unity and a sense of purpose. No one had to wonder about anyone else's loyalties, or whether they might really be a Cylon, or anything else but stepping to and following the old man's latest orders. Kelly's a relatively minor character (he was the Galactica launch officer, and was arrested for assassinating Romo Lampkin's predecessor as Gaius Baltar's counsel), but as someone whose tenure goes back to the miniseries -- and to the days before the genocide and all that followed -- his weariness and regret over what the ship and its crew had come to in the last four years carried the appropriate amount of weight. In the middle of another great action episode with cool set pieces like Starbuck and Lee taking out the brig guards or Romo proving once again that a pen is the mightiest weapon in the rag-tag fleet, this one quiet moment stood out to me. It made me feel as sad for what had happened, and what was going to happen, as it obviously made Kelly and Tyrol. And it's this kind of human moment, one that isn't about technology or things blowing up or even big speeches, that's always elevated "Galactica" to the levels of brilliance that it's reached throughout the last four seasons.

But, really, I could pick out so many moments from this hour as illustrative of the show's greatness.

What about Baltar's confession to his latest Six conquest that he always runs away, and that maybe he's tired of it? I'm a little disappointed to get confirmation that Baltar was faking it the entire time with the cult, but James Callis sold me on Gaius' reversion to form, and then on his attempt to break his familiar pattern.

What about Tigh and Adama's bromantic moment after Lee and Saul saved Bill from the firing squad? Bill and Saul's exchange -- "They told me you were dead." "For a while, I was." -- is the sort of thing you might hear from reunited lovers at the end of some '50s melodrama, but Edward James Olmos and Michael Hogan made it entirely about the respect, trust, and, yes, love that these two comrades-in-arms share.

What about the image of Adama leading an ever-gathering army of supporters through the decks of the ship, until they overran Gaeta's people in the CIC like a swarm? No speeches necessary at that point; the image of the crowd, and the resolve on Olmos' face, was all that was needed to generate still more goose bumps.

And what about virtually every Gaeta moment throughout the hour, but particularly his final coffee with Baltar? As others have said, Gaeta was the perfect man to lead this failed coup, because of where he'd been when the miniseries began, and all the betrayals that we'd seen him suffer, and Alessandro Juliani did a masterful job of making you understand, if not agree with, Felix's point of view, even as he freed Zarek, enabled the Pegasus goons to arrest and terrorize Helo's family, ordered the death of both Adama and Roslin, etc. And how frakking brilliant was he in that coffee scene? Michael Angeli, who wrote this episode, told Mo Ryan that he hoped that scene would briefly fool people into thinking that Felix would get a pass for it all. I was never fooled, and, in fact, the scene worked much better for how obvious Juliani made it that Felix knew he was going to die soon, and how at peace he was with it.

And I loved the look that Gaeta and Zarek shared right before their executions, that little nod and half-smile that suggested that, even at this point, they felt they had done the right thing. Gaeta was written more sympathetically than Zarek through this story -- where Felix struggled with the idea of killing people he was once loyal to, Zarek had no problem ordering the massacre of the Quorum when it became clear they wouldn't get in line behind him -- but I felt like there were shades of grey to both. You can look at it as Felix having more of a conscience, but also as him being more naive. Zarek may have been driven on some level by a lust for power, but he also recognized the true meaning of a coup, and all the blood that has to be shed in order to pull it off. I don't think he was more evil, just less deluded about what he and Gaeta were doing.

So now what? Is there still a civilian government, or is Adama going to throw in the towel and declare martial law from now until/unless they find another habitable planet? Can Adama really lock away and/or execute everyone who participated in the coup, or does the reality of being able to run Galactica mean he has to be liberal with pardoning people like Kelly? And does that large crack in the bulkhead that Tyrol found in the FTL drive room mean that the old ship doesn't have much time left?

How many episodes left to go? If they can be this good from here to the end, I'm going to be very happy, and I'm going to be very sad.

Some other thoughts:

• On the subject of the Galactica crew size, Ron Moore said in last week's podcast that one of the reasons the coup was feasible is that the ship is now so understaffed that it was easy for Gaeta's people to move through large areas of the ship without anyone noticing. So, once again, I have to ask, what happened to all those leftover Pegasus crewmembers and the idea, established shortly after the New Caprica exodus, that Galactica was badly overstaffed?

• Whither Anders? Even with Moore's fondness for letting important developmets happen between episodes, I can't imagine he'd let Anders bleed out off-camera, so is he in for a miracle recovery next week, or do we just have to wait for Kara and the Cylons to say their tearful goodbyes?

• I'm of two minds about Romo's pen-is-mightier-than-the-gun moment. On the one hand, it felt like an indulgence from Angeli to the character he created in "The Son Also Rises," and one whom he clearly feels the same way about that I feel about Jon Hamm. On the other hand, Romo stabbed a Marine to death with his pen! Sweet! (Hi, I'm 12, and I'm going to go read all my old Gambit issues of X-Men right now.) If there is going to be a reconstituted Quorum, five'll get you 10 that Romo winds up on it somehow. Hell, maybe Baltar, too. (They're probably that desperate for politicians at this point.)

• Did Tory appear at all in "Sometimes a Great Notion," or is this the first we've seen of her since "Revelations" aired eight months ago? Either way, nice to see she's still making friends and influencing humans.

• Racetrack sharing a joke with Zarek opened up a very ugly side of my personality that wanted to see Kara immediately stand up from behind her cover and put a bullet in that frakkin' traitor's head.

• Was I supposed to recognize the gadget that Leoben used to help Laura override Galactica's jamming signal?

Let me remind you, once again: No talking about the previews. Or about any other spoilers you encounter in any form. Anything I find the least bit questionable will be deleted. Got me?

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

At the risk of being redundant: WOW!

I was braced to expect the worst fates for many of my favorite characters during the episode, and really had to remind myself that I'm actually watching actors portraying fictional people in a drama.

Roslin was amazing. Ditto Thigh, Adama... Even Lampkin... Wow! Must watch it again...

ACyclcUniverse said...

"It stopped".

Single most moving line since Tigh's anguished "Not all of 'em" on the return from New Caprica.

What a beautiful finish to Gaeta's redemption arc. I mean, this *is* everything he's been wanting since his failure in the Baltar Administration.

He tried to stop the guilt by stabbing Gaius in the neck, but that didn't work. He tried by purgering himself on the stand to seek 'justice', but that failed. He tried to sing, to seek solace in the beauty of music, but it only brought emptiness.

Now, at last, he has been redeemed. He fought for what he thought was right, but the pain grew stronger. Until at last it ceased as he faced his punishment, his redemption, right in the eye.

Wonderful. Undeniable powerful stuff.

Anonymous said...

Great review. :0)

Tory did appear in "Sometimes a Great Notion". She remembered being on 'Earth' 2,000 years ago and Anders singing. We just haven't seen her since then as she lives on the baseship now.

Michael said...

Fracking amazing.

I found the Lee/Starbuck Action Squad a great pair to watch. I especially loved his "I didn't pull the pin"/"It would have been funny if you'd done it" line. So true, and a great moment of humour in the episode.

Brandon Nowalk said...

I was curious about that unjammable radio too. They sure emphasized it like we'd recognize it.

And so much happened, I completely overlooked the crack Tyrol found. I had no idea what I was supposed to take away from that.

I had the same thoughts about the reconstruction of the government. And I bet they add a 13th Quorum seat for the cylon base star.

I can't believe we only get 6 more of these.

Anonymous said...

Amazing episode.

Did anyone else feel like they filmed too many scenes and had to cut some minutes from this episode? The drama with Anders ends with Romo saying "frak", its unexplained what Leobens magical flashing light box is for, and were we supposed to know what the damaged walls near the FTL meant?

I feel like we're running out of time...and I want answers to every last thing!!

gina said...

Great review, Alan. I agree, Wow.

Something occurred to me when I saw the cracks in the ship's FTL room: What do you think about the idea that Galactica is the dying leader of the prophecy?

Nicole said...

It was wonderful to see Roslin not back down against Zarek and Gaeta's coup. Thinking that Adama had been killed gave her extra strength, if such as thing is possible.

Zarek executing the quorum truly disturbed me, and from that point on I knew both he and Gaeta were going to be killed, and soon. Even if it wasn't Gaeta's idea, he was the Macbeth to Zarek's Lady Macbeth and in too deep to escape repercussions now. His guilt was eating him up even before Adama recaptured the ship.

With the quorum eliminated, I do wonder if they will even bother with democracy now, or if Adama and Roslin will be pseudo King and Queen of the last tribe.

Anonymous said...

Count me as underwhelmed. It certainly wasn't a bad episode - this is Battlestar, after all - but definitely not in seven-wow territory, Alan. Maybe the comparison with the heights of "Oath" is just unfair, but where I found last week shocking and thrilling, this one was kind of predictable: Gaeta gets a conscience! One of the goons starts reminiscing with one of our heroes! The Adama execution fakeout was a cheap stunt beneath this show, I think. I love Battlestar because they really would have the balls to kill Bill, so manipulating my trust like that irked a bit. And if the deck seemed too stacked against the mutineers last week, in terms of who you were supposed to root for, this week Zarek came off to me as a cardboard villan.

There were some great moments - Baltar's epiphany, just about anything with Alessandro Juliani - but I'd say it was only a middling ep after last week's knockout.

Richard Hoeg said...

First, let me preface this statement by saying that I really enjoyed the three coup episodes as a self-contained arc. I thought they were quite well done and the energy of this last hour was just as you described: wow!

At the risk of sounding week-to-week redundant, however, I have to say that I feel vindicated in my fears that this arc would leave the show in roughly the same place as it was immediately following "Sometimes A Great Notion". Admittedly, we are now minus the Quorum, Zarek, and Gaeta, but in the long run, the fleet is still together, still allied with the cylons, and Adama and Roslin still maintain their positions of authority. What really changed?

Maybe Ron Moore and company felt that they needed to deal with the civilian/military tension that had been building up throughout the series, and felt that now was the best time to do it. They might be right. Still, I would have liked to have seen a greater impact from all this then simply the mass killing of a bunch of tertiary characters.

When the episode introduced the concept of 10 out of the 35 ships being left behind, I thought the show's producers had finally established a reason why all of this mattered. The fleet was going to be split, and the show would never be the same. As it turned out, though, outside of the Quorum killing, the coup was stopped without much problem, without the splitting of the fleet, and without much future impact. This to me was a disappointing result from an otherwise rousing set of episodes.

I loved the trilogy as an independent vehicle. I just didn't love it as a third of the final volume.

SJ said...

RIP Gaeta. He had become my favourite character on the show. The shades of grey is the best part of this show. I love how he still held resentment over Adama "abandoning" him and others on New Caprica.

Michael said...

Holy frak.

I thought for sure that the coup would have lasted longer. They did a nice job of making it look like Zarek and Gaeta had enough followers to make it stick.

Incidentally, a couple weeks ago we saw KFC's "Frak Pack" ad special. Now they show the words "Fr*k Pack" and say "the word we can't say". Ha!

Six episodes left. Wow. There's still so much left to show: the Cylon civil war conclusion and what happens to Cavil, the meaning of the opera house and the "head" cylons, the aftermath of the Galactica coup, the explanation for Kara, whatever planet they find... they're going to do it in six episodes?

Anonymous said...

Great ep. I was worried after The Oath that there might be some ambiguity remaining about Zarek and Gaeta as potential martyrs when all was said and done, so it was nice for them to really push the boundary and realize, no, these guys aren't right.

Was the coffee scene between Baltar and Gaeta real? It seemed to me like Gaeta was daydreaming it right before he was executed.

Didn't recognize the cylon box. The crack definitely suggests that the Galactica is on its last legs. With so few episodes left, I'm guessing the fleet isn't going anywhere (all this fighting has been about the past and we have yet to hear meaningful discussions about what's next). I'm guessing the crack will be important for one last battle when the other cylons catch up to them.

Oh, and does it bother anyone that they'll PROBABLY gloss over the confusion that would be sure to accompany the whole fleet after what's happened? Think about it. Dozens of ships in space have no idea what's been going on. Zarek says one thing, Roslin says another. In the end, Zarek and Gaeta and the entire Quorom are dead. Normally this should take time for everyone to sort out who did what and why, but normally Hollywood glosses over that stuff.

Without Zerek and the Quorom I doubt there is even an interest in preserving democracy. I doubt anyone wants to step up to the plate right now and lead this group.

Anonymous said...

This looked like a "take back the ship" episode pretty early on, which reduced some of the tension, but it was still very powerful. And it was a relief to see that "The Oath" was the nadir...any worse and I don't know if I could have taken it.

On the other hand, the execution of the Quorum was savage and underscored the nature of the mutiny. I like that even though the Quorum has been more of a plot device than real characters, their demise was shown in a very sickening light.

I think a lesser show would have made Gaeta like Kelly and repent, while Zarek twirled the mustache. But, despite Gaeta's conscience pangs, he still goes through with the joke of the trial, he's still willing to execute Adama, and he's still convinced he was trying to do the right thing at the end. He's in so deep the best he can do is refuse to commit more violence once it's clear they've lost.

And I agree with Alan that Zarek isn't depicted as intrinsically evil so much as having the same goals as Gaeta but knowing what really needed to be done. Still, I think what came out in this episode was that whatever Zarek's concerns about Adama and Roslin's leadership were, his lust for power and his method of acquiring led to absolute disaster both morally and in terms of humanity's survival, which he put in danger.

I guess they wanted to give Gaeta one last dignity by not showing his death, but I think the image of Zarek and Gaeta's bodies on the floor would have been a thematically powerful coda to the dead people on the floor we saw in the two episodes - Laird, the CIC, the Quorum, etc.

I got deja vu when Gaeta talked about being an architect, the restaurant, etc. Have we seen something similar before? Maybe the documentary episode?

I agree that the writers took advantage of Zarek's lies and lack of communication to portray dramatic reactions to fake news, but it was both realistic and a welcome antidote to situations where everyone is magically up to date on what's happening.

It was fascinating to see how passive the Cylons were and how Roslin basically needed to set them straight on what the consequences of leaving were. I think it was a subtle reminder that finding Earth gutted the Cylons sense of purpose as well - and no Natalie or D'Anna around to lead them, either.

It will be interesting to see if there are added scenes on the DVD. Again, while I would have liked a 90 minute episode, they picked the right spots to cut. Once Romo decided to help Starbuck, we didn't need to see anymore, and the cut from Narcho on the phone to being held at gunpoint avoided another "guns and yelling" scene that we'd seen enough of.

I don't buy the criticism this was some kind of closed loop of episodes that didn't lead anywhere. You could clearly see years of past episodes influencing the mutiny, and no one's just going to forget what happened. Will we see another Collaborators situation where the loyal people feel the need to commit revenge against the mutineers? I don't see how Adama can forgive the mutineers, especially any senior people...but how can he run the ship without them? And that's just the start of it...what will the fleet think? How will that affect their relations with the Cylons?

Without having seen any previews, I'm guessing Anders does bite it, but it's not a big deal since the nature of the Final Five means resurrection is guaranteed at some point. And the engine room crack will mean Galactica is about to break down, which will be the last plot driver before we really dig into the mythology and the end game.

R.A. Porter said...

I know this isn't what happened, but while I was watching the coffee surreal, so relaxed, so unlike the 50 minutes preceding it, and so unlikely to occur...I mean, the executions of Gaeta and Zarek would have occurred *very* quickly in an emergent situation like this...

"I just hope, I hope that people realize, eventually, who I am."
"I know who you are, Felix. I know who you are."

It felt more like Felix was talking to Head-Baltar.

Again, I *know* he's not a Cylon. I know all the models have been revealed. But I couldn't help feeling there was something more.

Anonymous said...

gina said, "What do you think about the idea that Galactica is the dying leader of the prophecy?"

The hybrid said, "The dying leader will know the truth of the opera house." How can a battlestar know the truth of the opera house? It's Roslin. She's going to die by the end of this season. I know, it sucks, but that's the way it is.

The hypocrisy of Gaeta going after Adama about "abandoning" them on New Caprica, where he was actually leading the lush life, was awesome. The accusation of giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy was also ironic, considering his relationship with that Eight in the webisodes. I think he realized it himself when his stump finally stopped bothering him right before he died. That was his conscience, eating away at him all the time, for his crimes on New Caprica.

I figured that the Quorum wasn't going to be around much longer. No more pretense of democracy, which wasn't workable in this situation anyway.

Good riddance to Gaeta and Zarek. They got their reckoning.

Anonymous said...

I liked it but didn't love it. Mostly because our heroes victory seemed too easy, and the status quo was maintained for the most part, and with so little time left I was hoping for more. They might as well, as we're almost done.

The fun of it being the last season is that finally ANYTHING can happen. So major characters can be killed or half the fleet can take off, or whatever.

Also, I do wonder why the rebebls who were willing to execute Adama one moment were suddenly back on his side?

And will Adama and the President ever admit they messed up by bringing the cylons into the fleet without fully explaining it to all the humans? Still not sure why they needed the better jumping equipment -- can't hurt I suppose -- but a big step to take when the cylons were trying to kill you just recently.

The rebels weren't completely wrong in why they took action, but of course they should've showed their discontent in different ways rather than violence and mutiny. (Which is nice that the show makes the mutineers not 100% in the wrong.)

Does Baltar still see the Six in his head? Will it ever be explained?

And why oh why could they not have killed off Romo? The most annoying character ever. I cringed when he came back.

(Love the Gambit reference)

Anonymous said...


This episode was great. Easily one of my favorite episodes. Looking back, it seems like some of my all-time favorite story arcs are when humans are fighting each other instead of the cylon episodes. This mutiny arc and the arc of Adama vs. Cain are easily my favorite BSG episodes of all time, with the exception of the finales of season 3 and 4.0.

Zareck really showed his true colors in the end. I always kind of felt that maybe Zareck was, at heart, an idealist. His brief friendship with Laura during the occupation of New Caprica seemed to suggest that he wasn't as cold and manipulative as he sometimes appeared. When he had the Quorum executed however...I mean, damn. I really wasn't expecting that. I love the look the look on his face when the one dude says "I think you better leave, Mr. VICE President." I think he really believed they'd fall in line behind him.

Speaking of "No talking about previews", I want to say, if you read this before seeing the preview, DO NOT WATCH THE PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK. It has, what to me, seems like a really significant spoiler and a major plot point in it. I was irritated out of my frakking mind when I saw that preview. So if you can, avoid it!

In regards to the political structure of the fleet, I have a feeling that Larua will make Lee her new Vice President. If she still maintains her "I'm done with it all" attitude, she'll resign and consequently leave Lee as the President.

As far as punishing the mutineers, I'm very curious how they intend to handle that. People like the soldiers who had no problem mowing down a group of civilian politicians with machine guns should clearly be airlocked. People instrumental in the planning of the mutiny should at least be dishonorably discharged from the military. People like Hot Dog who kind of went along with but refrained from murdering the President should probably get somewhat of a pass.

Anonymous said...

One more thing, to the few people who are suggesting maybe the victory of Adama over the mutineers seemed to easy, I disagree with this.

To me, in the last episode, it looked like the mutiny succeeded primarily by means of surprise and organization. They made a point of it that Starbuck/Lee/Tigh were certainly not the only ones offering resistance. There was also a really cool small moment in tonight's episode where Gaeta gave an order to one of those low-level staffers, and they briefly pan over and show one of the marines point a gun at the woman to get her to comply.

So, I was under the impression that while the mutiny may have been "widespread", they never constituted a majority of the crew, and that the mutiny was never at any point going as smoothly as Gaeta and Zareck thought it was. You can see this on Zareck's face when he is informed that the cylons and others escaped from the brig. The man is terrified.

Anonymous said...

Sorry couldn't resist one more thing:

Was that a resurrected Gina/PegaSix Baltar met up with? I had thought she died permanently when she set off the nuke. But, Baltar and the Six seemed to recognize each other and Tricia Helfer was playing her as sad and haunted...but they never directly referred to it. Am I going crazy?

Anonymous said...

I'm a little disappointed to get confirmation that Baltar was faking it the entire time with the cult

Was there ever any doubt? He did settle into the role for a while, but he was only able to maintain it because he's smart and manipulative enough to know a meal ticket when he sees one.

What about the image of Adama leading an ever-gathering army of supporters through the decks of the ship, until they overran Gaeta's people in the CIC like a swarm?

That was so gods-damn frakking amazing that I can only resort to using Galatica slang like a big nerd. I should have known at that moment that Gaeta was dead, but it still came as a shock when they actually did it. For a minute there I really did think he was getting a pass! Maybe I'm so used to shows like 24 and Heroes, where a character's loyalty is just another notecard on the writers' room bulletin board, to be moved around as the plot demands. Consequences? Ha! It really is startling to have a not-altogether-unsympathetic character act out of principle and die for it at the hand of the series lead.

I hope Richard Hatch keeps getting work after this. The original Galactica froze his career, and his work on the new one has thawed it out. He was really, really good.

Oh, and... I'm by no means a marksman, but could somebody explain the benefit of Starbuck's crossed-pistols technique? I'd think it'd be tough to aim at anything that way, but what do I know. Sure does look cool.

Was the coffee scene between Baltar and Gaeta real? It seemed to me like Gaeta was daydreaming it right before he was executed.


Anonymous said...

you dont think they'll show Anders being resurrected??

Mo Ryan said...

Regarding Anders, I'm under the impression that a Resurrection Ship is not in the neighborhood.

Brandon Nowalk said...

You think the Final Five resurrect using resurrection ships? I mean, Ellen died way back on New Caprica, and if she'd showed back up on the nearest resurrection ship, that would have solved one/fifth of the Season 3 mystery. (Although, now that I think about it, the nearest resurrection facilities were on New Caprica itself, if I understood correctly.)

Unknown said...

RE: Crew Size, the way I understand it Galactica had a skeleton crew the whole time which was slowly decreasing over the course of the show. Pegasus showed up with a ship that needed less staff than Galactica and lost like 700 people at Scorpio Shipyard. So the overstaffing problems were mostly limited to pilots because of lack of planes.

Mo Ryan said...

True, we don't know that the Final Five resurrect the way the other seven do. But I'm guessing if he dies on Galactica, he stays dead.

And either way, a dead Anders (if he does expire) is a very big problem. It would cause a rift in this very shaky human-Cylon alliance.

Speaking of Ellen, my guess is (and this is just a guess, 100 percent speculation) that she did pop up in a Resurrection Ship after Tigh killed her on New Caprica. Or in some way or other, some Cylons models found out around then (or before) that she was one of them. Which could cause all kinds of complications in the next six episodes...

Anonymous said...

I really am shocked at how many people liked this episode. I'm disgusted- the series jumped the shark for me tonight. A handful of soldiers could take back the entire ship- really? Kara Thrace is that amazing? Are they the A-Team? None of this could have happened. I say this as someone who loved Kara, but I wanted her to get shot.

I may not even watch next week.

Anonymous said...

None of this could have happened.

On a spaceship with artificial gravity, where Earth is a distant legend but everybody speaks English.

Yeah, could be.

Anonymous said...

DF, you clearly missed a lot of the implications and undertones of the last few episodes. Did you not notice all of the sporadic gunfire that was heard continuously in the background? Did you not notice that a staff member was forced to carry out a simple order from Gaeta at gunpoint?

The mutiny was not as widespread as Gaeta and Zareck believed, and this was clearly implied throughout both episodes.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure that the machine that we are supposed to recognize is from the miniseries (the first episode, not Razor). Head Six pointed out a Cylon machine to Baltar, which Baltar then blamed on a random man (who just happened to be a Cylon). I'm pretty sure that was it. Hopefully someone can double-check, as it has been a while since I watched it.

Anonymous said...

Definitely not.

The thing in this episode was like a boxy thing with wires sticking out all over the place.

The thing from the miniseries was a sleek looking high tech sort of gizmo. Which, I guess, has never been explained, unless I've forgotten something.

Anonymous said...

Oh, did anyone else hear snippets of the Star Wars soundtrack a few times?

Or might I be going bonkers?

Anonymous said...

excellent episode. some thoughts:

adama + tigh are the most badass old men who have ever lived. is there anything those two can't get through together? also, when zarek got dissed by the quorum, i jokingly said to my fiance, "oh no, he's going to kill them all!" i had no idea i'd be right.

i admit that throughout this arc, i'd been rooting for gaeta to die a slow, agonizing death, but his final moments just made me sad. it was plain to see how much this situation had spiraled out of his control. i'm just glad he was able to go to his end in peace. RIP felix gaeta.

Omagus said...

On a spaceship with artificial gravity, where Earth is a distant legend but everybody speaks English.

Yeah, could be.


Oh, did anyone else hear snippets of the Star Wars soundtrack a few times?

Or might I be going bonkers?

I thought the same thing a few times.

also, when zarek got dissed by the quorum, i jokingly said to my fiance, "oh no, he's going to kill them all!" i had no idea i'd be right.

Even after he gave the order I was thinking to myself, "He's not really going to...the soldiers won't...something will stop them from....HOLY CRAP, HE KILLED THEM!!!" Random question: does anyone know if the same actors were used for the quorum throughout the entire series or were there changes?

Craig Ranapia said...

So, once again, I have to ask, what happened to all those leftover Pegasus crewmembers and the idea, established shortly after the New Caprica exodus, that Galactica was badly overstaffed?

First, after the exodus the Galactica was crowded with refugees. And (quite understandably) I don't think too much time was wasted establishing how many of the military personnel who mustered out to settle on New Caprica never left.

Also worth remembering that the Pegasus wasn't exactly fully crewed either -- in 'Razor', it's not established how many of the crew had already left on shore leave before the attack (and the Pegasus had seconds to haul arse), but over eight hundred crew members were killed by Cylons when the ship was boarded.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to comment quickly on something I don't think I've seen many people discuss yet, but it's the fact that the writers are willing to show us that many of the characters on this show are, to a certain extent, hypocritical.

Take the recent marvelous arc of the Galactica mutiny led by Gaetea. I certainly don't agree with Gaeta's actions.

HOWEVER...only a relatively short time ago, did not Admiral Adama engage in, basically, the same sort of behavior?

During the story arc when Admiral Cain arrived, Adama originally ordered Kara to assassinate Admiral Cain, his superior officer. Essentially, is there a lot of difference between what Adama intended back then and what Gaeta actually did?

Adama intended to engage in mutiny. He intended to kill his superior officer and take control of the fleet for himself.

And yet, we side with Adama almost without question, while we all condemn Gaeta.

I frakking love it.

The moral ambiguity of it all. Fantastic writing.

Why is that most of us support Adama in his insurrection while we simultaneously condemn Gaeta for his?

The difference, I suppose, is that Adama didn't go through with it. But let's ask ourselves this, if he did go through with it, if he did order Kara to shoot and kill Cain, wouldn't we have sided with him? And yet, when Gaeta engages in practically the same behavior, we condemn him.


Amazing writing.

Craig Ranapia said...

During the story arc when Admiral Cain arrived, Adama originally ordered Kara to assassinate Admiral Cain, his superior officer. Essentially, is there a lot of difference between what Adama intended back then and what Gaeta actually did?

Adama intended to engage in mutiny. He intended to kill his superior officer and take control of the fleet for himself.

And yet, we side with Adama almost without question, while we all condemn Gaeta.

You make a pretty fair point, but I'd put the emphasis on the word "intended" -- and note that both Adama and Cain backed off assassinating each other.

A better point of comparison, I think, would be Laura Roslin suborning a military officer to steal a military asset, only to have Adama turn around and throw a military coup. But I'd not neither action ended up with a body count (at least not directly) and there were consequences attached.

Anonymous said...

Great Ep indeed.

I loved how once the FTL drive went out, Gaeta knew it was over. He very softly says, "One day, there's going to be a reckoning ..."

H E Pennypacker said...

Just saw it then. I jumped off my couch tom cruise style when Romo stabbed the marine with the pen, brilliant - and it rang true that he didn't wanna help Kara but his conscience got the better of him.

I figure that crack in the bulkhead will be important down the track, at least there's only 6 episodes left to find out why.

The scene which blew me away was Zarek walking out of the Quorum and ordering his troops to kill them, talk about the point of no return.

Anonymous said...

Was this the first time on BSG that they used a firing squad to execute someone, rather than just opening up the airlock?

Boricua in Texas said...

There were so many moments in this episode that impacted me.

1- Zarek being called "Mr. Vicepresident" and asked to leave by the Quorum. Finally they got some sense knocked into them. Too bad they had only minutes to live.

2- The scene where Racetrack was friendly with Zarek bothered me. I had always liked her character and was upset when I saw her with the rebels last week. This felt like an even bigger betrayal.

3- The Adama and Tigh reunion tugged at my heartstrings more than Adama and Roslin reuniting.

4- The last exchange between Gaeta and Baltar. Juliani is a gifted actor, no doubt. As angry as I was at Gaeta, in the moment I felt such sadness for him.

Eric said...

I loved this episode from a plot standpoint, but I thought it suffered from some of that patented Angeli on-the-nose dialog.

Both Baltar's monologue to 6 and Gaeta's "It stopped" just kind of clanged to the ground for me.

Anonymous said...

Samuel: The device from the miniseries was revealed to be a Cylon IFF device (identify friend or foe). Starbuck used one of them when she went on her trip to recover the arrow of Apollo, and Boomer used one in her Raptor in the same episode when she nuked the Cylon base ship that was orbiting Kobol.

Anonymous said...

While watching I found the episode completely gripping. Afterwards I felt that the writers were really cheap. It simply wasn't necessary for Zarek to go through and kill the Quorum and by using the Quorum massacre to get the audience to side with the Royal family was just cheap.
I was also really annoyed in the prior episode when Tigh and Adama were escorted by only two marines. They would have sent an entire regiment with a coup leader for that.
I actually thought that the show would have been better off if they had a civil war and the fleet actually split. There are legitimate grievances that the crew and civilians have and the writers couldnt be more clear in their support of the Royal family, its really sad and quite disturbing.

Anonymous said...

It seems that once per episode i cry & once per episode my mouth drops open. Cry moment: the doors open & Roslin sees Adama. Give that woman an Emmy for gods sakes. Jaw drop moment: "shoot them."

It was interesting that Chief spent the whole show crawling around in the innards of his ship, like he was physically a part of Galactica (think Scotty in the Jeffries tubes) & then he sees the crack. And then the last scene w/ Chief reminded me of the episode where he is having dreams that he's a Cylon & is falling.

I felt strongly that all along Baltar was just using everything & everyone at his disposal to help only Baltar, but for the first time i wonder if he really could be changing. It's a testament to Baltar (& Callis) that he could pull it off as well as he did for as long as he did. But maybe, finally, he realizes that they all need each other to survive. The predictions (prophecies?) Caprica Six revealed to Baltar way back when seem to finally be coming to pass (redemption etc.)

Adama gathering a crowd walking thru the corridor brought a nice finish to his other recent corridor walks: the chaos after they realize Earth was a no-go, the despair of the picking up litter episode & now the renewed resolve. Also this is the third time Adama was "executed". First by Boomer, then by Tigh (head sequence) & now by Baltar (another head sequence.)

This episode had a lot of scenes of people taking responsibility for their actions. It was all about the consequences, right or wrong, of making a stand.

The Gaeta architect thing seems familiar to me, too but i can't place it. Was it from the series of clues posted? Or are we all having an opera house moment?

This show has always been about the ambiguity & the fine, wavering line between right & wrong. We sided w/ Adama in the assassination of Cain because she was a dangerous & deluded war criminal - just what Gaeta thought Adama had turned into. As much as we like, admire & support certain characters, they occasionally make decisions or take actions that we disagree w/. JUST LIKE REAL LIFE.

What a great show. sigh

Anonymous said...

I haven't read through all the comments, so forgive any repetition.

First, does anyone else think that Kara? might have super-duper healing powers that she just now discovers? Really, what is she?

Second, Baltar. Don't jump to a conclusion. I was a pastor for 15 years, and there were times when I failed or made a wrong call, often involving insufficient courage, which led me to question whether I was anything but a charlatan, and I didn't even have Baltar's checkered past to haunt me. I'm not saying I'm right, just don't be so quick to take his "confession" at face value.

Third, I saw, or maybe superimposed, another layer on Zarek. He was a political prisoner, and one thing that history seems to point out to me is that those who struggle against tyranny often, because they must be or become hard and ruthless to maintain their fight, turn into the thing they fought in the beginning.

Anonymous said...

The thing in this episode was like a boxy thing with wires sticking out all over the place.

The thing from the miniseries was a sleek looking high tech sort of gizmo.

The thing from the miniseries was designed by Apple. The thing in this episode was designed by Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

jim treacher asked:
Oh, and... I'm by no means a marksman, but could somebody explain the benefit of Starbuck's crossed-pistols technique? I'd think it'd be tough to aim at anything that way, but what do I know. Sure does look cool.
The advantage is that it looks cool. Firing a handgun in each hand is one of the things that movies and TV get amazingly wrong. In reality (I know, "on a spaceship in the future..."), it's all but impossible to fire a gun in each hand and even hit the broad side of a barn. It may look boss when Chow Yun Fat does it, but nobody who knows what they're doing with a gun would do that in a firefight. Better to bring a shotgun.

Anonymous said...

During the story arc when Admiral Cain arrived, Adama originally ordered Kara to assassinate Admiral Cain, his superior officer. Essentially, is there a lot of difference between what Adama intended back then and what Gaeta actually did?

Adama intended to engage in mutiny. He intended to kill his superior officer and take control of the fleet for himself.

And yet, we side with Adama almost without question, while we all condemn Gaeta.

Similar, but not the same. Adama was protecting 2 members of his crew from being executed over an accidental death. In addition, Cain realizing the truth about her relationship with Gina, her judgment was compromised.

Adama had no love for Cylons, but the Cylons in the fleet are there because they came seeking a truce of sorts, and they caused a Cylon civil war to do so. Also, Adama knows that he may have helped cause the attack on Caprica as a result of spying on the Cylons, he knows who really broke the armistice... Something only a couple of characters know.

By not accepting the Cylon FTL drives, Gaeta would be dooming the fleet to possibly never finding a home. His desire for revenge is stronger than his desire for self preservation.

Anonymous said...

If Anders dies, he isn't coming back anytime soon. The Final Five can't resurrect, there is no resurrection ship around, and even if there was, what body is he gonna download into? They don't possess the greater strength that the other models possess, their bodies are different. If they could download, D'anna would not have been so concerned about them be airlocked.

Anonymous said...

Alan, so much word on wanting Kara to pop Racetrack right in her traitorous giggling face. Argh!

I appreciated Adama's exchange with Narcho after the execution squad was disarmed. It shows that some of the mutineers were true believers, and will not be able to just forget about their hate and join arms with the Cylons. I have no idea if they will deal anymore with this point.

The anti-scrambling device is not something we've seen before, but something we've heard. Did anyone notice the weird sound effect it made before Roslin's transmission started? It was the same sound that the Four heard before the strains of All Along the Watchtower, I swear it. What makes it even more interesting was Leoben's smug smirk as it did the job, all yeah, I thought that would work. Makes you wonder who broadcast that song in the first place, and how the Four heard it when no one else did, but everybody could hear Madam Airlock's message.

Anonymous said...

Also, has the brig done wonders for Aaron Kelly or what? Am I right, ladies? Dayum.

Karen said...

The Adama execution fakeout was a cheap stunt beneath this show, I think.

I'm not sure I completely agree with this. When they showed Adama with a blindfold, I thought--"A blindfold? Nah! Adama would look his executioners in the eye." So when it turned out to be Baltar's dream, it made sense. You KNOW Baltar would want a blindfold, and that's how he saw the execution happening.

I had to stop the DVR for a few minutes to recover after Zarek had the Quorum murdered. I just couldn't believe he'd really go there. I think Alan is right, though: Zarek just knows what a coup entails. The man was a terrorist, for heaven's sake; he's not a cuddly puppy. Gaeta's reaction ("We had truth on our side...") was heartbreaking, because it really did underscore his naivete and idealism.

This was just an astounding episode. Wonderful and dreadful. I hate that this show is ending.

Anonymous said...

My mouth was hanging open for five minutes after Zarek had the quorum killed. I just couldn't believe they went there. But, then I remember one of the writers from BSG telling Maureen Ryan that this was Battlestar, of course it was going to get worse (that's a paraphrase).

Did anyone else want Adama to pull his gun and shoot Felix and Zarek in the head in the CIC? I'm ashamed to admit that I really wanted that to happen.

I never believed Baltar's conversion for one second. As I've said before by making Baltar a complete poser and hypocrite, it lessens the impact of the religious arc they spent so much time on last year. It should have been handled with more respect by making it less like a Cult Leader and his flock and more true religious beliefs. The idea that people would turn to religion in a situation like this is natural. The BSG writers really dropped the ball with that, IMO.

Since Adama survived his execution, I wonder now if any of the main characters will die. Except Roslin who's been 'dying' for the entire series. But, for the main characters to always just miss getting killed/executed takes quite a bit of tension out of the stories.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the communication device Leoben used was part of Starbuck's crashed viper. Just guessing.

ZeppJets said...

I loved that the time stamp established that the whole coup/ restoration over the past two episodes was over in about 7 hours.

Random thought: Helo got gun whipped earlier this morning- a serious injury to be sure, and he's still down for the count. Anders suffered what appeared to be a far more serious beating, and he seemed to be moving around relatively well as they were escaping the brig.

Did we ever determine if cylon physiology is in fact stronger and more durable than that of humans? Aside from the way petite Tory was able to discuss-chuck Cally across that airlock in "The Ties that Bind" we haven't really seen any such evidence of it.

Anonymous said...

I've watched the final scene several times, and I was struck by how much was said between Zarek and Gaeta in their final moments.

Felix looks serene, completely at peace with his fate. Tom glances at him. He is resigned but not nearly as peaceful. He smiles slightly, tentative.

Felix looks at him directly, confident. He smiles and nods, and you can see how this bolsters Tom.

In the end, Felix has all the strength, and in spite of their age difference, Tom looks to the younger man for support and direction. It's such a beautiful moment at the end of such horror.

I second the previous commenter in hoping that Battlestar Galactica will lead to a much deserved resurgence in Richard Hatch's career. He deserves to work more.

Anonymous said...

Poor poor Gaeta. The true tragic figure. So many times in the show's history he is trying to do the right thing and so many times it backfires on him. From being the one who save Balter early when Balter was under suspision. To uncovering the cover-up where Roslin tried to steal the election. Dispite his own flaws, hew was much less selfish and much more honest than any other character. The guy that normally tries to do the honest and honorable thing. The difference is, if Bill Adama was going to pull off a coup, he knows he has to kill the commanding officer right away. Admiral Cain knew this too. When Gaeta did not kill Adama right away, he opened the door for Adama to take back the ship. When it comes down to it, Adama will do whatever he has to do in order to keep power. That is obvious now.

Anonymous said...

Did we ever determine if cylon physiology is in fact stronger and more durable than that of humans? Aside from the way petite Tory was able to discuss-chuck Cally across that airlock in "The Ties that Bind" we haven't really seen any such evidence of it.

One of the Sixes damn near beat Starbuck to death.

ProgGrrl said...

What a great review, AS. I couldn't agree with you more about how incredibly, mind-bendingly badass this ep was.

And how sad I'm gonna be at the end of March.


SJ said...

Cosign to the dream as a cheap stunt. It's the most overused and annoying stunt on TV, and I think as a "rule" it should be banned from all TV. Very disappointing that BSG would go down that route.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining on the smile between Gaeta and Zarek. I wasn't sure what it meant exactly til I read your take on it.

Also, I'm glad I'm not the only who didn't think Zarek to be the evil guy he only sometimes is (The quorum getting shot was my most shocked moment of the episode. And for characters that I barely knew!). I think both Gaeta and Zarek had redeeming qualities about them, and that whatever they've done, their concerns were legitimate. I hope they'd address that next week, because I'm not sure how I'd feel about Adama or Roslin - despite them being totally kickass this episode - should they not at least own up (if not publicly, privately) to the fact they had a part in pushing half (or however many followers Zarek and Gaeta had) the fleet to a coup.

Yes, I still find it somewhat ridiculous that they kept blaming Zarek (in the previous episode) for everything that went wrong. Yes, he staged the coup with Gaeta. But it all started with them not listening to the concerns of the fleet.

Anyway. Amazing episode, and you cannot say enough wows about it.

Seth said...

I actually hated these last two episodes for the most part.

Zarek went from an elusive character to a guy twirling his mustache.

I don't feel "surprised" by Zarek's actions. I feel surprised by the sloppy writing.

It's just a hedge by Ron Moore who isn't comfortable truly making this a fight of grey instead of black and white. He gives Zarek and Gaeta good arguments, but then winks and says "But just so you know, look, Zarek is evvvviiiilllllll."

Anonymous said...

Gaeta wasn't trying to do the right thing, he was trying to do what HE THOUGHT was right, and his decision was based entirely on fear of the Cylons, and hate of the Cylons and how they are getting treated better than himself. He's a bitter crippled punk. The TRUTH is that the fleet is still around because of those rebel Cylons.

Gaeta wants redemption, he wants to be forgiven for his role in the attack on Caprica and his support of Baltar... But he refuses to offer the same to the Cylons, who, after all, were created to exist in the servitude of humans, and who had their territory violated.

Anonymous said...

Did we ever determine if cylon physiology is in fact stronger and more durable than that of humans? Aside from the way petite Tory was able to discuss-chuck Cally across that airlock in "The Ties that Bind" we haven't really seen any such evidence of it.

The Cylons have been shown to be able to lift a full grown human man by the throat, straight armed, off his feet. Leoben has been shown to have this increased strength on more than one occasion.

As for the Final Five, aside from Tory showing some strength when hitting Cally, they haven't been shown at any other points in the show to have greater strength, Tigh didn't show any when he fought Adama, or anyone else, Tyrol and Anders likewise, so I think the Tory thing was a continuity error.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Zarek is evil! At least, no more evil than any other political figure in real life or on BSG.

So, for that, I think the episode was 'grey' enough. I don't side completely with either side, which makes it very interesting.

Anonymous said...

You can agree or disagree with RDM about Zarek's actions, but when people act, they often leave the world of "gray" behind them. The only way to remain ambiguous is through inaction. Great debate, boring drama.

Zarek was plenty multi-faceted. He never twirled the mustache. His motivations were clear and understandable. Sometimes when people/characters make choices and follow them through, that precious "elusive" quality is lost.

And who says Adama and Roslin are the white hats? They could easily be headed down a path toward tyranny, even as the crowds cheer. It will be interesting to see if they even try to reform the Quorum.

Richard Hoeg said...

So, here's my problem. What effect did all this have? None really. Roslin and Adama maintain their positions of power. The fleet remains the same. Sure, we're down one political body, but I suspect that it will be easily replaced. At the end of the day, the mutiny arc served exactly the purpose I had feared. It certainly feels like the fleet is in exactly the same position it was in at the end of the stellar "Sometimes a Great Notion." Next week, play this little game as you watch. Outside of a few instances which I would expect will address the events of these past few episodes, see if you can't imagine the episode taking place immediately after the Ellen reveal at the end of "Sometimes." My bet is that it won't be that hard.

All that being said, the trilogy still serves as a great standalone. I agree wholeheartedly with Alan on that.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how anyone can think Zarek a sympathetic figure when he ordered the quorum to be massacared. In that scene, he validated every suspicion Adama and Roslin had about him. He's a criminal and a terrorist, pure and simple, and I'm astounded that viewers are giving him a pass because his "motives were good."

Bobcat said...

I didn't read all the other comments, but I do love to read my own writing, so I want to say:

(1) I agree with some others that the heroes' victory was too easily won. I'd like to have seen one more episode unspooling everything.

(2) I also hate Lampkin.

(3) After "The Oath" Gaeta rose to my top four characters with Roslin, Adama, and Cavil.

(4) As someone else noted, Richard Hatch (Zarek, not the fat guy from survivor) should get more work.

(5) There will, presumably, be something like a truth and reconciliation commission for the lower-level people. Remember, after WW2, the senior Nazis were executed, but lots of the lower-level ones were installed in positions of power. IIRC, something like 6,500 of the 11,000 judges in Germany in the 1940s and 50s had been Nazis. (And they also gave incredibly light sentences to Nazis who had committed horrific crimes during WW2.)

Se√°nalation said...

Beautifully written! I found your blog while searching for President Roslin's exact quote, and boy am I glad I did. You captured my EXACT feelings about this episode, and powerful actors like Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos in general. Thank you for encapsulating my thoughts!

Seth said...

Here's a psychological observation for ya.

When Zarek massacres the Quorum, we get to see their dead bodies resplendent with blood.

Oh, the results of Zarek's actions! Don't you just want turn away from the horror?

But when Zarek and Gaeta are executed, not only do we not get to see their dead bodies, but they are actually smiling as they about to be executed.

Even people executed by Adama are happy!

There is a lot of subtle psychological manipulation to get the audience to side with the "royal family" (as another poster put it).

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh said...

anyone who claims the mutiny arc ended more or less where it began forgets that both adama and roslin had more or less abdicated their sense of responsibility after the disillusioning revelations of "sometimes a great notion." if the ONLY long-term effects of the mutiny are to re-energize the two figures most responsible for keeping humanity alive thus far, then that seems pretty worthwhile. it also forced both adama and roslin to speak out in favor the human-cylon alliance that caused such friction in the first place and abandon the passive-aggressive approach they had been relying upon.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to offer up an interpretation of Gaeta's behavior that I haven't seen on the boards.

I believe that subconsciously Gaeta wanted to die and thus he embarked on a self-destructive mutiny that he was unable to follow through on. His desire to die starts with his leg getting blown off, and is completed in the "Face of the Enemy" webisodes when the 8 reveals to him his complicity in the murder of his fellow humans on New Caprica. Remember, he's getting ready to off himself on the raptor when the search and rescue mission finds him. Again, I believe his deathwish is subconscious, and I don't think he recognizes his motivation, but the facts (1) that he won't follow through with the coup, and (2) that he is at peace before the firing squad are consistent with the idea. In this context, his death is a variation on Dee's suicide, with the difference being that Gaeta is more complex, more ambitious, and less self-aware than Dee. But both have had enough, and choose very different ways to go out.

We can see a pattern here - the minor-major characters are starting to get killed off. We had Dee, now we have Gaeta and Zarek. This is shaping up like a Shakesperian tragedy where the stage is covered with blood, and everyone is dead, by the time the curtain drops. The crack in Galactica's hull that Tyrol sees is ominous, particularly the symbolic nature of it.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I couldn't agree with you more. I think this had to be one of the most emotional episodes of BSG, in large part because of how significant a character Gaeta was. As I described in my review, Gaeta infers shades of Lady MacBeth in how his attempts to redeem himself or wash away his own mistakes has dragged him into this endless torment until he utters that final line, indicating that he has finally come to peace with who he is and what he has done.

I think people could write pages about how much wonderful human drama was featured in this episode - it was all so real and heartfelt. The fact that those behind the Emmy votes just can't get past the space-setting to focus instead on these phenomenal performances is beyond upsetting. I suppose the satisfaction remains in knowing that at least their audience is in awe of their efforts.

Anonymous said...

"I believe that subconsciously Gaeta wanted to die..."

That's interesting. You could also say that he felt he had "nothing to lose" and that his actions would force Adama's hand even if it cost him his life. It's interesting also that Roslin accuses Gaeta of not having the guts to fight with the basestar. Personally, I think people like Gaeta are actually much more conscious of the consequences of their actions. It's not that he doesn't have the guts. He can't stomach the losses the fight would incur. Whereas Adama has "guts" supposedly but is willing to tear the fleet apart to get what he wants. Is that guts or just selflishness?

Anonymous said...

Good episode. Well executed. And Roslyn really shone.

Glad this story arc is over though.

Finally, I hope, we get back to the end game.

Anonymous said...

One thing I've thought from the beginning and that amplifies as we go, is that why we should we believe the note in Adama's quarters that there are only 12 Cylon models? With 13 tribes, it matches up to the style of the show, i.e., prophecy, foreshadowing, eternal recurrence, for their to be 13 models, with one more to come. Now that everything is fractured, but held together, with the ship as an obvious metaphor, it seems we are primed for a return to the quasi-mystical side of things as well which has always triggered the fault lines among the remaining people, which could easily accommodate a 13th model. Just a bit of rank speculation with a theory that's bounced around in my head for awhile.

Anonymous said...

When Tyrol found the crack in the bulkhead, I immediately had a thought: could the dying leader who will guide the tribes to salvation (before dying just before the end of the journey) actually not be a person but be Galactica?

Anonymous said...

@mustang sally,
My wife & I had the same thought: 'Scotty in the Jeffrey's Tube' when we were watching Tyrol crawling around.

Anonymous said...

I’m supposed to believe that Tom Zarek, an uncompromising revolutionary who has no qualms about blowing away everyone on the Quorum, wouldn’t have killed Admiral Adama the first chance he gets?

Let's face it, there was a lot of good stuff, but there was also some conventional/cliche/weak writing in this episode. I call shenanigans.

Here's my review:

Aaron Overfield said...

1 - the nature of the contraption that leoben was shown using to assist roslin wasn't the point, it was roslin relying on their technology (via leoben of all cylons) and their cooperation. (though a previous poster's "apple/microsoft" joke was hilarious.)

2 - was there a change in anders' eye color when he was starting to die? i swear his eyes changed color dramatically. i need to go back and look at this but it seemed so at the time.

3 - the 6 that appeared with baltar seemed to be an entirely yet unseen version. they seemed to make a point of making her seem more human than the rest - even down to a less perfect complexion. i think there's something to this one.

4 - when things go unseen on this show i've come to expect a twist. not seeing the execution played out leaves open the possibility that g and z are still alive. unlikely but possible.

Richard Hoeg said...


I absolutely think the Galactica is the "dying leader." It's a bit too long in its entirety to post here, but here is a clip from my blog:

"The Galactica herself has always been "a leader" guiding the caravan of the heavens (the fleet) towards it new homeland, but it wasn't until this episode that we had any inkling that it might also be suffering from a "wasting disease." After Chief Tyrol succeeds in disabling the ship's FTL drives in this episode, he notices something. In one of the episode's stranger moments, the camera pans up the side of a wall torn to pieces. The shot lingers for more than a few meaningful seconds before cutting away with no further explanation given. What are we to take from this? I don't know for certain, but I think it's a good bet that whatever caused those cracks in the engine room evidence a "wasting disease" that will ultimately bring her down. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have our dying leader. Expect to see her lost before the end."

Seth said...

That thing Leoben was using was actually one of those new digital TV converter boxes. Apparently, the cylons haven't switched over yet to HDTV and Leoben has an old Zenith in his room on the base ship.

So he was able to use it to send an analog signal to the colonialists...

Anonymous said...

How could Galactica be the dying leader if the "dying leader will know the truth of the opera house"? The hybrid is clearly talking about Laura Roslin.

Boricua in Texas said...

2 - was there a change in anders' eye color when he was starting to die? i swear his eyes changed color dramatically. i need to go back and look at this but it seemed so at the time.

I think he rolled his eyes back. For a moment, all you could see was the white part.

Tommykey said...

I'm writing this without the benefit of having read all the other comments, but when Tyrol discovered the structural damage, I had this bad feeling that a section of Galactica's hull was going to blow open and that the crew of Galactica might misinterpret it as the Cylons firing on them, and then it would break into a shooting match.

For a moment there, I thought Kelly was going to suicide himself. I was glad to see he came around and rediscovered a sense of purpose.

I was a little curious about what Baltar meant when he told Gaeta "I know who you are." Explanations welcome.

Tommykey said...

During the story arc when Admiral Cain arrived, Adama originally ordered Kara to assassinate Admiral Cain, his superior officer. Essentially, is there a lot of difference between what Adama intended back then and what Gaeta actually did?

Sean Richardson, you are taking Adama's actions completely out of context. First off, Cain was going to execute Tyrol and Helo without even telling him beforehand. He wouldn't have known at all unless Fisk hadn't leaked it to Tigh.

Adama knew about what Cain had done to the civilians on the ship that Laird was on, the Scylla IIRC. She ordered the families of those who wouldn't willingly join the crew of Pegasus to be executed.

Fisk had also told Tigh about how Cain had shot her own XO in the head when he refused to carry out an order that he thought was suicidal.

Then, you also had Roslin telling Adama that Cain would have him killed as soon as she got the chance. And guess what, Cain did plan to kill Adama! Not only that, she was going to have Adama's officer corp in CIC killed as well.

So, it's not as though Adama wanted to have Cain killed on a whim or because he craved power.

Comparing Adama's actions with respect to Admiral Cain to Gaeta's mutiny against Adama isn't just comparing apples to oranges, it's comparing apples to steak and potatoes.

Richard Hoeg said...


I think we were certainly intended to believe that the "dying leader" was Laura Roslin at the time the hybrid made her statement, but I think a literal reading of prophecy is almost always a mistake in stories like this.

For one, what is the "truth of the opera house?" Judging from the five figures waiting in the wings in those scenes, I think one could argue that the "truth" was in fact the identity of the final five cylons. If that is the case, who knew better than Galactica the identity of those five? All five were on Galactica for significant periods of time, and perhaps more importantly, remember what the trigger for the final five was: a song coming from within the ship.

Looking at it from that perspective, I think it's more than plausible that Galactica "knew" the truth of the opera house and conveyed that truth in the nebula at the end of season 3. It may not be the most obvious reading of the "opera house" prophecy, but in my experience the most obvious reading is usually not the right one.

(For instance, I don't think that Starbuck will be leading humanity to it's "end" in the most literal way (death). Instead I think she will lead them home.)

I'm not saying that I'm definitely right, just that the "opera house" shouldn't prevent someone from thinking that the dying leader has finally been found.

Anonymous said...

Tommy, I'd have to disagree. Violating his oath of command by ordering his superior officer to be shot in the head was a violation of his oath. There's no equivocating about it. In fact, it was a mutinous act.

R.A. Porter said...

@Anon 9:58 PM, Cain had clearly and indisputably broken both civil and military laws in executing civilians. Furthermore, the rightful civilian government supported his actions. Gaeta's situation is fundamentally different.

I know that history is written by the winners - not that anyone on BSG is going to be a "winner" when all is said and done - but Adama had not clearly committed the crimes by which Gaeta justified his actions to himself. Treason? For what? Allying with the Cylons was authorized by the duly empowered civilian government.

Gaeta might be right, but his actions were also clearly mutinous.

Adama might be wrong now and might have been wrong with Cain, but his actions were NOT mutinous.

Aaron Overfield said...

Ingrid - thanks, I'd just watched it again and came back to post that it was actually the whites of his eyes I'd seen.

I also think I heard Starbuck call him "baby" when she was tending to his wounds. She's come a long way since saying she'd shoot him if she discovered he was a cylon.

Watching it again, I still think this 6 with Baltar is someone new. I can't imagine what kind of role this could possibly play but still think this is the case.

And for those of you who have qualms with Romo killing the soldier with a pen - I was shown how to do the same exact thing by a Capoeira master for a work related self defense class. Granted, I doubt Romo is such a master but, still, very possible.

Richard Hoeg - though I'm not entirely convinced they are going in that direction or would be able to play out that metaphor for mass consumption easily enough, you do present one of the best theories about how/why Galactica being the dying leader would be the case.

As good as the theory of Starbuck filling her destiny of being the "harbinger of death" when she became the reason the cylons stated they chose for siding with the humans to destroy their resurrection abilities.

Anonymous said...

"@Anon 9:58 PM, Cain had clearly and indisputably broken both civil and military laws in executing civilians. Furthermore, the rightful civilian government supported his actions. Gaeta's situation is fundamentally different."

You're splitting hairs. It was mutiny. If he wanted to bring up Cain on charges, he could have done that.

He ordered her to be shot in the head.

You're somehow rationalizing his lawlessness by referring to her lawlessness. One does not justify the other. He didn't order her arrested. Her didn't order her detained.

He ordered her executed. Summarily.

Anonymous said...


It goes back to what Lee said during the trial of Gaius Baltar. Almost every character on the show, even if they are essentially good people, have partaken in some morally dubious actions.

Adama once had the President arrested and declared martial law. Adama once ordered the execution of his superior officer.

Laura once ordered the genocide of the entire Cylon race.

Lee put a gun to the head of his superior officer, and also publicly revealed Larua's use of Kamala.

Tigh, Anders, and Tyrol ordered people to engage in suicide bombing terrorist tactics.

Baltar gave a nuclear weapon to a cylon, kept secret the information that Boomer was a cylon, and continually hid his role in the cylon attack on the colonies.

Gaeta organized a mutiny against Adama.

Even the best people on the show, the good guys, have done some pretty dark things.

I think it's great. Characters that are this complex and flawed make for excellent television.

I don't think Adama's planned assault on Cain and Gaeta's mutiny against Adama are as different as you think, if you look at their motivations and opinions. Adama believed Cain was dangerous and that she was a threat, and that she had ordered civilians to be killed. However, from Gaeta's perspective, even if he's wrong, he really viewed Adama as a traitor. He believed that Adama was putting the entire fleet in grave danger. Adama had the go-ahead from the President, but Gaeta had the go-ahead from the Vice President, who to him was the legitimate heir to power as he viewed Laura as being just as treasonous and irrational as Adama.

I think we just see Gaeta's actions as being more wrong because we love Adama, but in reality I don't think their intentions were all that different. Except, of course, that Adama didn't go through with it.

Anonymous said...

On Leoben's Blinking Box - My immediate guess when watching the episode was that this was a colonial transponder-type device, probably left over from Starbuck's viper. My assumption was that as a military comms device it had some kind of broadcast priority. Presumably the CIC was keeping comms channels with its own Vipers open and Leoben was able to take advantage of this. The design of the box is also more Colonial in feel than Cylon.

Anonymous said...

When I saw that the Quorum denied Zarak, I thought to myself, "He will have them shot" and a few seconds later my thoughts were echoed in reality. Being a student of history and of people, I still was shocked at my prediction. I was pleased that the cylons stayed with the fleet so far when it got really tough and survival was at question. Them staying and helping out "speaks volumes" of their characters.

Anonymous said...

That final scene between Gaeta and Baltar "I know who you are". Well, Baltar does know - about what happened down on New Caprica, both good and bad, about how the road to hell can be paved with very reasonable sounding self-justification, about how you can be simply a flawed human being who no real desire to be evil but end up causing horrific things. That you can be someone probably now loathed by much of the crew but still have a point, and be worth mourning. Gaeta is prepared to die at that point, all he wants is the reassurance that maybe someone might get the complexity of who he is - someone who always wanted to be an expert, to be helpful, to make a difference - even though he knows in the end it went awfully wrong.
Also interesting was, for the first time, is this Baltar doing an altruistic thing for someone he could rightly see as an enemy?

Pandyora said...

A couple of random thoughts:

- I don't think Gaeta had a death wish. Its been his pattern to become infatuated with charismatic figures, whether Adama in the early seasons, Baltar on New Caprica, and now Zarek (the Stalin to his Trotsky), who eventually let him down.

- Speaking of Gaeta, I loved the reoccurring use of his lament, the song he sung at the end of "Guess What's Coming to Dinner."

- On the coup episodes being too self-contained, I believe RDM when he says these will loom large in the end game. I find it hard to believe that Adama and Roslin can simply reboot the political order of the fleet. My guess, in the"all that has happened before will happen again" vein, is that members of the fleet will be allowed to go their separate ways (perhaps even splinter into thirteen groups?).

- The BSG promo people need to be airlocked...

Freevo said...

My idea about Leoben's blinking box is that it was a little (but blatant) irony that Roslin had to use cylon technology to reach her people.

Tommykey said...

He ordered her to be shot in the head.

And Cain shot her own XO in the head instead of simply relieving him.

Adama's actions, even if technically mutinous (I never actually disputed that) took place in the context of dealing with a superior officer who already had a track record of committing summary executions of citizens and crew members.

Tommykey said...

I find it hard to believe that Adama and Roslin can simply reboot the political order of the fleet.

I certainly don't expect that. Like I wrote in the thread for Alan's post on the previous episode, unlike past times in the series when the fleet split and was able to reunite, this time things have gone too far for that to happen.

For another thing, the RTF has no destination now. What greater goal is there to unite them?

Anonymous said...

Well spoken, Mr. S. Vivid recap, great points. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Zarek was plenty multi-faceted. He never twirled the mustache. His motivations were clear and understandable.

I agree. Zarek didn't twirl his mustache when he ordered the Quorum killed. He looked sad. He thought what he was doing was a necessary evil. I just watched "Serenity" again, and the Operative and Zarek are a lot alike in that sense. They both realize they're monsters, and they both truly believe that they need to be in order to make things right. I find them both repugnant, but I don't doubt their sincerity.

And who says Adama and Roslin are the white hats? They could easily be headed down a path toward tyranny, even as the crowds cheer.

Which sounds awfully familiar, but I can't quite place it...

anyone who claims the mutiny arc ended more or less where it began forgets that both adama and roslin had more or less abdicated their sense of responsibility after the disillusioning revelations of "sometimes a great notion."

Thank you! Roslin in particular went from "No comment" to "We shall fight them on the beaches." She doesn't have much time left (when she had to stop for a moment at the bottom of the ladder just before seeing Adama, it was heartbreaking), but now she realizes what it's worth.

Craig Ranapia said...

Zarek was plenty multi-faceted. He never twirled the mustache. His motivations were clear and understandable.

ITA, and I think Zarek is a lot like Helena Cain in that respect: The writers, and wonderful performances from Hatch and Forbes, make their motivations perfectly clear. And, frak it, they're not always wrong. But that makes what they do so much worse, because you're allowed the relief of hating characters straight from the Book Book of Television Clichés.

When Tyrol found the crack in the bulkhead, I immediately had a thought: could the dying leader who will guide the tribes to salvation (before dying just before the end of the journey) actually not be a person but be Galactica?

I don't think so (but nice theory), because it's just such an on-the-nose piece of symbolism I just took it at face value. It's also a pretty obvious way to ratchet up the tension, and raise the stakes, even further -- if the Galactica's FTL vents into space (and I'd assume that would be the most heavily shielded part of the ship), I don't think the usual 'spit and a prayer' approach to keeping the ship running is going to work.

Tommykey said...

I just watched "Serenity" again, and the Operative and Zarek are a lot alike in that sense.

One big difference though is that the Operative stood down when he recognized that what he was fighting for was a lie.

Tommykey said...

Oh, and thanks for the reply LA G. That was my inclination, but your explanation made it all the clearer for me.

Anonymous said...

Great episode.

The writer's did the incredible job of making me cheer for Gaeta/Zarek against Adama...After all the violence, I don't think I could have stomached working with the Cylons either.

I was glad to see both of them smile to each other at the end. They did the right thing, but it didn't go their way.

Anonymous said...

Hi, A lot of talk here about how the mutiny affects the story development. I think the defeat of the mutiny is critical in that the advocates of the human-cylon alliance (Adamas - father & son, Roslin, Tigh, Starbuck etc.) are victorious and therefore are holding the cards moving forward. We will find out whether this is more good than bad, but the alliance advocates have clearly consolidated control. The command structure (civilian and military) now represents this alliance which is different from what Adama initially intended when he agreed to what I believe he felt was a temporary alliance for reaching earth.

Also, Zarek's murder of the quorum also opens up some interesting political possibilities with respect to possible cylon representation in a civilian government.

Tommykey said...

Also, Zarek's murder of the quorum also opens up some interesting political possibilities with respect to possible cylon representation in a civilian government.

Which is ironic, because I believe Tyrol raised it in the second episode and was an additional factor in pushing Gaeta towards mutiny.

Anonymous said...

I notice that a lot of the comments repeat themselves through the thread. I'm late to comment because I didn't watch right away, but I read all the comments before commenting. Perhaps the comments thread wouldn't be so long if later commenters took the time to read earlier comments?

A couple people commented on the six that Baltar was with. She looked to me like a blend of Deanna and Six--wearing white with honey colored longer hair worn curled. Perhaps she'll take on some of Deanna's traits if she emerges in these last eps?

For Baltar's, "I know you," there are a few interpretations, I think. There's the one that's been mentioned--Baltar and Gaeta were side by side on New Caprica, and both struggled with their roles, and the greater bad they were doing than good, despite their intentions.

Two, it feels like a return to his guru role--it's reminiscent of a bible verse that begins, "I knew you"

Three, speaking of the Bible, it could imply that Felix and Baltar "knew" each other on NC, which I think was also hinted at in the webisodes.

Unknown said...

I was glad to see both of them smile to each other at the end. They did the right thing, but it didn't go their way.

It's one thing to be sympathetic toward some of their motivations, but it's quite another to condone their actions. Mutiny and murder were not "the right thing" as far as I was concerned.

Anonymous said...

I don't get thinking they did the right thing. Particularly Zareck. The man executed an entire branch of the Colonial government.

People like Gaeta may have had justified motivations in their own minds, but they were being irrational. They were blinded by their own hatred. The truth is that cylon jump drives would be extremely beneficial to the fleet, and that if the alliance holds up they are safer with one battlestar and one baseship instead of having just one battlestar.

Furthermore, I think it should be clear to most people that the final five were not part of the actions or plans of the original seven. Most of these people would still be stuck on New Caprica if it wasn't for Tigh, Anders, and Tyrol.

Adama and Laura's failure, in my opinion, was in making their case and persuading the fleet of the necessity of the alliance.

An alliance with the cylons is the only way to bring a stop to the continuous cycle of "all of this has happened before and all of this has happened again. If the alliance fails, the wars are just going to continue. As Kobol, the 12 colonies, and Earth fell, so too will any future world of cylon or man. It is a cycle that has never stopped, but maybe, possibly, it can, if they take the hard path and commit themselves to alliance.

Anonymous said...

The last time I watched the last scene, I was struck by the fact that Felix's prosthetic leg had been taken away. I wonder who made that decision.

Unknown said...

What about the cylons? We haven't heard anything about them since Leoben ran away from Kara. So they were just sitting there having tea until Laura showed up and assumed the role as leader?

Still great ep.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with the anonymous poster who said the Adama execution scene fakeout was really lame and beneath this show. Unless they are telling us that Baltar can now see the future, it was total bullshit. And there would be no Baltar "revelation" that they were going to execute Adama. Duh! What did anyone think was going to happen if the mutiny was successful? Really cheapened an otherwise great episode.

Anonymous said...

I believe that concept was uttered at the end of the middle Star Wars prequel film when the politician declared himself Emporer. This by Luke's hottie mom.
And who says Adama and Roslin are the white hats? They could easily be headed down a path toward tyranny, even as the crowds cheer.

Which sounds awfully familiar, but I can't quite place it...

Anonymous said...

Zarek did want Adama dead at the beginning of the coup - remember when Gaeta tells him he's been arrested and Zarek responds with horror "he's still alive"? Zarek wants him dead, but he needs gaeta and the his military for support, so he begrudgingly goes along with the "trial" nonsense. i thought the writers and Hatch clearly expressed this.

And to Richard Hoeg: keep your blog to yourself. You are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Richard Hoeg: are you being obtuse on purpose? Kara Thrace is the harbinger of death! Not some nice happy "end."

Galactica is not a dying leader. It is not a cylon. It is antiquated old battleship. Get off it - if the writers meant what you are suggesting, the show would be completely stupid.

Anonymous said...

Where WAS Deanna anyway? I kept expecting at any moment for the "bad" cylons to return- just add on one more layer of chaos.


R.A. Porter said...

@EmeraldLiz, Deanna - the last of her line - is living out her days on the scorched ember left of Earth. Unless someone picks her up, we won't be seeing her again.

Richard Hoeg said...


I am not being deliberately obtuse, I swear. I just think it's worth while looking at things like prophecies from a different perspective. Take the "harbinger of death" you bring up.

The pertinent lines of the prophecy are as follows: "You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead humanity to its end."

The proximity of the sentences encourages us to read them together, as you suggest. But wait! When the resurrection hub was destroyed last year, the show's producers took special care to highlight the prophecy, suggesting that it was this loss of immortality which was the "death" of which the hybrid spoke.

If that is the case, the second half of the prophecy ("You will lead humanity to its end.") should be divorced from the first half. Without the "harbinger of death" language, this half of the prophecy lacks the sense of malice which you would ascribe to it. Instead, it simply says that Starbuck will lead humanity somewhere. In my personal opinion that somewhere is "home" and not death.

In the same way, we could parse the "dying leader" prophecy away from it's most obvious reading (Roslin). Again, I say, I'm not certain I'm right (though I think I am), I just don't think that it's as easy as you suggest to eliminate the possibility.

Anonymous said...

Have y'all learned nothing from Buffy and Angel? Prophecies are notoriously unreliable. :)

I can't say that I agree with Richard Hoeg's (and Gina's, who mentioned it way up thread) theory about Galactica being the dying leader, but I think we could discuss it civilly. It's a massive stretch, in my opinion, but not impossible. Does anyone really believe Moore couldn't try to find a way to justify it?

A few random thoughts:

That Adama won the fight doesn't immediately mean he's wearing the white hat. He executed people he said were traitors as easily as Zarek did. His hands are not clean.

Gods know I love Laura Roslin, but she's as opportunistic as a cat. She would have happily airlocked every cylon in existence, and she kidnapped someone's baby to save her own ass. But she's still as awesome as can be. "I'm coming for all of you!" Damn. I was afraid she was coming for me.

Lee finally became the man we've been told he is for the last four years. He was an ass-kicking fighter for the cause.

Gaeta is as tragic a character as I've seen in a long time. He broke my heart. He always did what he thought, at the time, was right. I don't believe he had a death wish, but he accepted that he had to die. It was his moment of grace.

Ditto to every "Wow" said so far.

Anonymous said...

I finally saw this episode last night. I am trying to come up with another hour of TV that was as good as this, and I am stumped. Truly stumped. (And I am counting Jimmy Smits' final NYPD Blue episode, which used to be my #1).

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable how good it was. God, I love this show.

Anonymous said...

One big difference though is that the Operative stood down when he recognized that what he was fighting for was a lie.

True, although that ass-whuppin' helped!

Anonymous said...

Hoeg - you are leaving out important parts of the prophecy and the story. Kara Thrace is the harbinger of death. She is the herald of the apocolypse. She will lead mankind to its end. They must not follow her.

This is the 1st Hybrid's prophecy. The female hybrid just repeats part of it to Starbuck. What about it makes you think that the hybrids are referring to the loss of the cylons' ability to resurrect? You can parse it out, but it still in no way supports your theory.

Anonymous said...

How could "dying leader" be translated to "old broken down battleship"? It is way more than a stretch. I think you can pick another "leader" - meaning a living character - to lead the way to the "real" earth, or you can assume that Roslin fits and helped lead the people to earth and that is it. But I don't see how you can try to fit the ship into the prophecy just becasue it has a gash down by the FTL drive.

Richard Hoeg said...

Okay, since I really don't want to commandeer Alan's blog, I will respond to the last few comments and leave it until next week. :)

First, with respect to Kara's "harbinger" prophecy. I know that the way it's presented implies that Starbuck is bad business, but let's look at each statement individually.

"Kara Thrace will lead the human race to its end."

As I've already stated, this doen't mean anything independently. She might be leading them to death or to their final home. Could go either way.

"She is the herald of the apocalypse."

One reading: Following Starbuck will destroy the fleet. Second reading: Starbuck led the fleet to Earth, a planet that had most definitely experienced an apocalypse.

"The harbinger of death."

As I stated before, she enabled the fleet to end cylon immortality forever. In a very real way she was the harbinger of death. The prophecy was even highlighted during this episode. (In the alternative, as mentioned above, she also was mainly responsible for bringing the fleet to Earth, where the Colonials, including Starbuck, found little else but death.)

"They must not follow her."

Admittedly, I don't know what to do with this one except to note how the statement specifically uses two general pronouns to hide it's true meaning. Who are "they?" The Colonials? The Cylons? Who is her? Starbuck? Perhaps, but remember we have just been introduced to a new cylon who is expected to "claw toward the light". Could the "her" be Ellen? I'm sure we'll find out.

Finally with respect to Galactica as "dying leader" I note only two things. First, there is no reason to believe that the category of "leader" is limited to living beings. Think of "loss leaders", or "leading economic indicators" (so often in the news today) for examples of when leadership is not specific to a given indvidual. Second, note that the concept of dying is also not limited to the living. "My car just died." In a universe with a "disease" that affects only machines (Cylons), it seems odd to limit the definition of "dying leader" in the way you suggest.

The point of all this is not to point out any inherent correctness in what are, admittedly, my best guesses, but simply to explore the ambiguities that the producers of Galactica have been kind enough to bake into their prophecies. It's all in good fun.

As I said, that will be it for me for this week, at least on Alan's blog. Thanks for the spirited debate on this point. It's always fun to spar with people who are so passionate about good TV.

Anonymous said...

Just because there are other definitions of "leader" - like loss leader or leading economic indicators, doesn't explain how the ship could be a "dying leader". Galactica is the fleet's flagship and defender, but "leader?"

Why would the prophesy about Kara Thrace speak of her, then speak of a battleship, and then speak of some other "they" not following Ellen? Really, these stretches are just absurd. Maybe the prophecies refer to some other tv show, or some characters we've never seen before, or Lorne Green, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Is the base ship a "cylon" like the other aircraft in the cylon fleet - living, breathing entities? If Galactica was like that, maybe it could be a dying leader? Maybe it could be a "hub" for the final 5? otherwise, there's no way a ship is part of the prophecy.

Anonymous said...

RA- oh so she actually stayed behind? Darn, I want more Lawless. Thanks for the note.


Anonymous said...

Is the base ship a "cylon" like the other aircraft in the cylon fleet - living, breathing entities? If Galactica was like that, maybe it could be a dying leader?...otherwise, there's no way a ship is part of the prophecy.

I was thinking about that too. It's not something we've heard before, and it doesn't seem like something they'd spring on us this late in the game. Anything is possible, of course, but, yeah, I seriously doubt the dying leader is a ship. Even a ship that's the leader of the fleet.

However, I like the theory, just as a point of discussion.

A couple people commented on the six that Baltar was with. She looked to me like a blend of Deanna and Six--wearing white with honey colored longer hair worn curled.

She looked to me like a resurrected Gina Six. Isn't she the one who blew herself up?

Raz Cunningham said...

in regards to the Six that Baltar bedded, it was an interesting wardrobe choice for her, almost angelic. when he took a moment to stop and notice her at first, i thought that's what he was thinking, too.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the podcast for this week is delayed, or if there's going to be one?

Jack said...

Going back to the speculation about Anders, I think we can assume he's safe from a production standpoint.

Given the near-fatal car accident Michael Trucco had during the writer's strike (his injuries were likened to Christopher Reeve's), and his remarkable recovery to the point where he could rejoin the series on schedule AND apparently do his own stunts (per Michael Angeli in Mo Ryan's interview), it would be seriously cold for the producers to kill off Anders after only a couple of episodes and some brief scenes.

Also, the neck injury will explain Trucco's mammoth scar if Anders has to be seen in a vest, etc. Notice his hoodie in the post-strike eps so far.

I reckon he'll be around for a while yet, and ditto the rest of the Four.

Thanks for a great discussion venue, Alan.

Anonymous said...

In regards to that box we all are supposed to recognize, my guess is that it looks a lot like that beacon box with the food cache that Helo and Sharron found all the way back in season one on Caprica. If it's not that, maybe Leoben created it on the fly, hence this satisfied grin

Unknown said...

In my opinion, they are gonna solve the problem with the rebels by bringing back the other cylons in the next episodes for one last round.

Major characters are still going to die. Baltar, Kara and Tigh are my guesses.

The Bearsden Cat said...

I loved Adama in this episode - even with his crew turning on him, even facing imminent death, he's still a complete bad-ass.

Case in point.. when Gaeta's reading out his charges about aiding and abetting the enemy,

"I bathed and washed them.... I made their meals... I love the enemy."

Classic line!

Chuchundra said...

The mutiny is one of the few things from recent BSG that actually made sense on a human level. If I was on that ship I would been thinking mutiny some time in season 2.

I spent most of the episode hoping that Gaeta would actually put incompetent Adama down. I knew it wasn't going to happen, but I was still hoping.

You see that even after the mutiny, Adama still doesn't get it. No matter how much "sense" it makes, you can't just turn around and be buddy-buddy with a race of people that casually murdered tens of billions of human beings.

R.A. Porter said...

@Chuchundra, so what should the Allies have done with Germany after WWII?

lizvelrene said...

We wondered if the Six we saw with Baltar was a new incarnation of HeadSix. In white and motherly instead of red and vampy, maybe having something to do with Baltar's process of redemption.

When was the last time we saw HeadSix? Does anyone remember?

R.A. Porter said...

@lizvelrene, There's been a lot of confusion about who that Six is. She's not HeadSix, and she's not a resurrected Gina. According to Michael Angeli in his interview with Mo Ryan, she's yet another Six, named Lida.

Anonymous said...

R.A. Porter, thanks for that info re: the newest Six. I'm curious as to why she has so many personalities/names. Is there a back story on her I don't know about? It seems all the others are always essentially the same person (for want of a better word).

Alan Sepinwall said...

For those of you still reading, Ron Moore discusses Leoben's mystery console in the podcast, and admits that it's just an unexplained plot device they came up so that Roslin could override Galactica's jamming frequencies. It's not anything we've seen before, and Moore didn't want to waste time on a technobabble explanation.

(Moore also, to his credit, admits that the dream sequence of Adama being executed was a dirty trick, and laughs as he says he can't really defend it on any grounds.)

R.A. Porter said...

Alan, I can't believe with RDM's background he didn't just have Leoben say the device rotated shield harmonics or inverted a deflector array. Oooh. Or maybe a phased tachyon pulse...

(Kidding, of course.)

Zoe said...

I just saw this episode, so I'm late to the party and haven't read all the way through the comments, so I apologize if I say anything redundant.

First, I agree with all of Richard Hoeg's post.

Second, I find it interesting that Alan loved the look exchanged between Zarek and Gaeta just before their executions because I had the opposite reaction. I was hoping Gaeta would stare straight ahead instead of acknowledging Zarek's glance because he regretted trusting Zarek, given how the coup played out.

Zoe said...

P.S. Darn it all. I just read this week's Lost review, in which Alan encourages those who post to read through all the previous comments so as not to be redundant, and notes the oft-used preamble, "I haven't read all the comments..." I hate it when I'm People with a capital P.

Edelweiss said...

Hmm. I'm sorry, but all through the show i have found it annoying how Roslin and Adama, and Starbuck and basicly all who are obious *stars* of the show are allowed to run their own game, and act like spoiled children. BUT, when others want a change they are 'traitors'.

Especially how major tactical decisions are based on the "affection" between two individuals... "well, i'll sure as hell risk the entire fleet for saving my best friend/lover" - and i'm waiting for one of the 'background' characters to step up and say "we lost a civilian ship and 15 of my marine mates in this mission to save one, i repeat, one person, who so happens to be a favourite of captain Adama... was all their lives worth losing" - talking bout scales...

BSG has two favourite devices it shares with another good plot-wise show, but flawed (in dialouge, character and acting skill - seriusly, the Roslin actress isn't good, all she does is squint, and adama jr. is a high school football captain with as much personality as your villian of the week in a Miami Vice episode) tv show, and that is Sons of Anarchy.

The first is how in every episode someone pulls a gun to create tension and drama, and in 95% of the incidents, nothing happens. It's annoying, and a really cheap way to get conflict.

The second is how the "good guys" (and the writers don't show any talent in hiding who they favour) are allowed to kill and, like i mentioned earlier, liscensed to risk other peoples lives, and just be all around d-bags, as long as they do it for ***LOVE*** !!!
Man, there isn't an episode where that word isn't dropped.

Gemma and Jax are allowed to kill and cause massive collateral damage, and they can do it because if someone talks back, she gets ron pearlman on it... likewise, Adama and Roslin have the power, and are pretty sloppy and don't listen to others, but go against them and your a traitor!
And that doesn't make them grey and complex, because the show doesn't portray them that way, they are the heroes, and we never see anyone outside the *Main Cast* bleed or getting mourned...

The characters are overpowered and unballanced according to the world they inhabit...
Well, i just had to get this off my chest... it's still an interesting series, but it is in the category with the likes of SoA, Jericho and Walking Dead, in that while they have good premises, are scarred to the heart by the poorness of their inhabitants...
One way to deal with the whole 'the world is ending, somehow' scenario in a good way, where the situation isn't driven by scheming and overly dramatic egos, but by bona fide motives and earnest misunderstandings, and the general dangers already in the situation, is Dawn of the Dead (2004)...

Ps. I also have a big personal problem with the way that the Chief handled the situation with his child when he found out he wasn't the father... how can you turn on a dime after taking care of it for such a long time, and force hot dog to connect to something that he only shares DNA with... jesus, if i found out tomorrow that i was adopted from some obscure romanian village, it wouldn't change who my real and only mom and dad are...