Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recap: A Disquiet Follows My Soul, The Oath, Blood on the Scales
by Rebecca Pahle | 12:30 pm, December 11th, 2013
I’m a sci-fi geek who has never seen Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I know, I know. 2013 is the year I change that, and I’m blogging as I go.
I. HATE. EVERYTHING.
*sobs onto keyboard*
A Disquiet Follows My Soul
The identity of the Final Cylon has been discovered. Humans and Cylons have begun a new quest to find a habitable home planet. There’s only half a season to go. I’m ready for things to kick into high gear, and instead this episode gives us a show going into statis. Sigh.
We start with Adama being full of ennui, and it’s such an innocuous scene—him waking up late, getting ready for work—that I was half convinced that when he coughed it meant he’d die of a sudden illness by the end of the episode. But no.
Over in sickbay Six and Tigh are doing the happy parent routine as Six gets her first sonogram. Sure, Tigh’s still grumpy, because it’s Tigh and he’s contractually obligated to be, but all the same he’s remarkably sappy by his standards. He’s holding Six’s hand. There’s some stuff about how this is the first time two Cylons have managed to reproduce, and there’s a nurse who’s constantly DNW-face-ing at Cylons being happy over their ~miracle baby~ and the ~future of their species~. But I can’t even focus on that, because Tigh/Six is still a thing. I don’t understand, and I don’t approve.
Gaeta, in the sick bay for some prosthetic leg maintenance, is ten thousand percent bitter about the easy acceptance the Cylons have gotten. We find in this episode that a lot of people have misgivings about the rumored permanent alliance between Cylons and humans. Adama holds a press conference where he proceeds to not answer any of the press’ questions, because “This is all military business, which means it’s none of yours. Adama OUT!” Dude. That’s not going to fly. The tension is exacerbated by the fact that Roslin’s gone into seclusion since Earth went bust. Zarek takes advantage of people’s freak-outage about the President’s disappearing act to swoop into the void and stir up anti-Cylon sentiments.
I don’t know what Adama expected to happen when he won’t even try to work with the civvies in Roslin’s absence. Lee does his best to be the voice of moderation at Quorum meetings, but there’s only so much one junior representative can do. Adama refuses to even throw the rest of the fleet a bone and let them in on the identity of the dreaded Final Cylon. “You don’t need to worry about her anymore,” he says. “She’s dead.” But as far as your everyday civvie is concerned this is the monster under the bed, the boogeyman responsible for the destruction of humanity. Keeping absolutely everything to yourself is not an option.
The situation is kind of Inception-y, by which I mean the protagonists could easily be the bad guys of someone else’s story. Dom Cobb & co. are thieves. Adama and Roslin are… well, they’re pretty much dictators. Only we’re not supposed to believe they really are, because the only in-show character saying it is Zarek, and he’s a villain. I kind of wish the show would just own up and admit it.
The Cylon and human leaders are cooking up a plan to upgrade the fleet’s FTL drives with Cylon technology. It’ll triple the fleet’s jump capacity, meaning they’ll be able to search for far more potentially habitable planets before they run out of food and fuel. The Quorum, still suspicious of the Cylons, don’t want to allow Cylon tech on civvie ships. Lee suggests that to bring them around they promise that only humans will do the installations, which Tyrol points out is impossible. Gaeta, who’s been stinkfacing through this entire conversation, really lets a good one fly:
Mr. Distrustful of Cylons asks what the catch is, and it turns out there is one: The Cylons want full citizenship. That way if Cavil and his goons come along Adama will be bound by honor to protect them just like he would his fellow humans. Everyone’s immediately like “Uh, no,” but Adama appears to be considering it. Only he has to ask Roslin first.
Except Roslin’s not too keen on getting back into politics. We see her throwing away her pills, accepting that she’s going to die soon and deciding that she’d rather spend what time she has left doing things like yoga and jogging instead of going in for cancer treatments. According to Doc Cottle her subsequent good mood is temporary euphoria brought about by stopping treatment, but Roslin doesn’t care. When Adama asks her about the citizenship question she stalls him. I was the prophecized leader before, but that didn’t work out. Is there another role I have to play for the rest of my life? Well… yeah. You’re still the President. I feel for her, and her desire to walk away is completely understandable, but at the same time… you have responsibilities. If you’re going to go AWOL, at least pass on your duties to other people first, else you end up leaving Zarek the keys to the human race.
Zarek gives a speech to the Quorum and convinces everyone but Lee to vote in favor of barring any Cylon from boarding a civilian ship without the approval of its residents. As a result a bunch of ships start ignoring the Galactica’s orders, and one of them, the all-important tylium ship, straight-up leaves. Adama, after ordering Zarek’s arrest, proceeds to thoroughly pwn the sleazy politician, saying he’ll release records of Zarek’s corruption if he doesn’t give up the ship’s coordinates. He’s totally bluffing, but evidently Zarek is a corrupt SOB because he completely buys that Adama has a ton of info on his evil deeds. He capitulates, and the Galactica gets the tylium ship t0 come back.
… except Zarek’s not done poking his head in, because he’s Zarek. Earlier in the episode we saw Gaeta approach Starbuck in the mess and be a complete jerk to her, giving her crap about being married to a Cylon and maybe being one herself. Starbuck spices up the dull episode, as she is wont to do, by firing right back, calling Gaeta a “cripple” and a “gimp” and giving him flak for thinking anyone should care about his leg. Jesus frakking Christ, you two.
Unbeknownst to Starbuck, but knownst to us, she played right into Gaeta’s hands. The point of him confronting her way to get the attention of everyone else in the mess hall. After she storms out he proceeds to do some anti-Cylon preaching, presumably. At the end of the episode he officially joins forces with Zarek. Gaeta will be the one to perform some “small act of courage” intended start a revolution.
Gaeta, you bonehead. Do not hitch your wagon to Zarek’s star! You have Admiral Adama’s ear. He invites you to his super-important meetings! If you have concerns about the way the fleet is behaving, ask him about them. Or ask Lee! Or ask someone. Starting a violent revolution is not the way to go.
That said, this decision absolutely fits his character. I’ve written (at length, because I have feels) about how Gaeta lets emotion rule his decision-making. Even all the way back in the documentary episode we saw him all “I’m a cool dude with my unbuttoned jacket and my tat, eyyyyyyyy.” He wants to be a rebel. He wants to be a savior, a freedom fighter, something other than a secondary character in a show where he’s in direct opposition to the main characters. Damn this show’s consistent characterization.
Gaeta. My love. This will not end well for you.
The revolutionaries do have a point, by the way, even if they’re going about it the wrong way. It’s been, what, three years since the Cylons nuked the 12 colonies and attempted genocide against humanity? And they’ve been chasing them ever since. Cylons practically enslaved the fleet on New Caprica. The civilians have no reason to support putting the fate of humanity in the Cylons’ hands. Adama and Roslin have reasons. They know the situation with the rebels. They’ve been convinced that there are good Cylons. Wonderful. Now they need to convince everyone else (one speech from a Six doesn’t cut it). They’re supposed to be a representative government for Chrissakes! They don’t have the luxury of believing that people will—or should—accept all their policy decisions on face value, especially when what’s at stake is their lives and the lives of everyone they know. Roslin and Adama have earned the trust of humanity, but they still have to work to keep it. I don’t blame Roslin for her siesta, but she’s continually had a problem with not seeing herself as accountable to the people and the Quorum. And Adama’s not helping, what with holding press conferences where he won’t answer the questions and constantly engaging in dick measuring contests with Zarek. It’s a major failure of leadership, and I hope later episodes acknowledge that.
Tyrol has a plotline where he discovers Baby Nicky, who’s come down with acute renal failure and might lose a kidney, isn’t actually his kid. Turns out right before they got married Cally got horizontal with Hot Dog, who doesn’t even know he’s the father. Tyrol follows him to one of Baltar’s meetings and proceeds to wail on him. Tyrol, no. That’s like beating up the family puppy. Don’t do that. The two of them visit sickbay, and when Tyrol goes into fatherly advice mode I think maybe he’s stopped being such a jerk. But then:
Tyrol: Lesson one. If your kid’s in the hospital, never leave him alone. You have first shift.
Hot Dog: Sounds good. Wait, how long do I sit here?
Tyrol: Until I get back.
Tyrol: Which’ll be when I’m sober.
Tyrol: Frak you.
What was the point of all that? Seriously. Maybe to completely cut Tyrols’ ties from humanity by making the kid he thought he had with his wife not even his? But he was already pretty much there anyway. Popping in a random “You are NOT the father!” is just zzzzzzzz.
Speaking of zzzzzzz, I think Baltar is just as bored as I am. About halfway through the episode I was praying for his smarmy, narcissistic ass to make an appearance and mix things up. Then we got a scene where Baltar was giving a rousing sermon, but he was totally on autopilot (and maybe a bit drunk): “God made us all perfect, so everything we do is perfect. We didn’t do anything near bad enough to deserve our present fate, so maybe we should blame God, because what has he done for us lately? Yeah, you guys yell while I have a smoke.” Even Tyrol attacking Hot Dog doesn’t make him look like he’s not about ready to slip into a coma:
The episode ends with Roslin and and Adama doing a bit of (shirtless, woooo!) snuggling in bed. It’s cute that they’ve apparently turned into teenage hippies, but it’s not enough to make this episode any less dull. You can’t deliver a plot twist like the discovery of Earth and then sweve into “Meh, Whatever”ville. Bring back Ellen!
Gaeta you bonehead, you are going to get yourself killed.
The revolution subplot is starting to work for me, actually.
The episode starts fairly innocuously—Adama and Tigh are in the former’s quarters chatting about how even more ships have started disobeying direct orders. Roslin casually comes out of Adama’s bedroom wearing a robe, and I’m not sure, but I think Adama is turning a smug “Yeeeeah, guess who just got some?” look to his best friend. That’s what I’m rolling with anyway. Tigh suggests that maybe he shouldn’t be the one dealing with this whole kerfluffle, what with all the robot racism in the fleet. After he leaves Adam and Roslin have a chat in which Roslin insists she’s done with politics (might want to get a replacement in line, then. Just sayin.’) but then proceeds to offer advice on which Quorum member Lee will be most able to sway to his side.
Sure you’re out of politics, Roslin. Sure.
Meanwhile the plot to take over the Galactica is underway. Gaeta breaks Zarek out of the brig and gets him to the hangar bay, where Racetrack fakes a dangerous spill to get all the non-conspirators to leave. Racetrack, you’re in on this too? I suspect that the conspiracy will fail, if not this episode or the next then eventually. And I don’t want anything bad to happen to Racetrack. I really like her.
Oh, what am I saying? This is Battlestar Galactica.
Laird, the ex-civvie/ex-Pegasus deck chief/current Galactica deck chief senses that something foul is going on and insists that he check with the CIC before Zarek—whom Gaeta says Adama is spiriting away to prevent an assassination attempt—be allowed to leave the ship. Gaeta tries to put him off the scent, but it takes Zarek beaning him with a wrench to get him from blowing the whole plot. Zarek gives a big speech about revolution and no hesitation and he won’t be the last (wait, did Laird die?), and then he and Racetrack beat it to the Colonial One.
The entire thing is witnessed by the main hippie cult woman with the sick kid. I keep forgetting her name.
Gaeta goes to the CIC, where he proceeds to convince everyone that what looks like a ship making an unauthorized departure is just a DRADIS glitch. Computers, amirite? And everyone, even Tigh, buys it with zero hesitation, because even after Gaeta’s newly realized robo-racist tendencies they still can’t imagine that he’d be betraying them.
The next step is Gaeta saying there’s been a fire on Deck C, which happens to be where an arms locker is. Adama, thinking the fleet’s comms are at risk, orders that the deck be evacuated.
Part of Gaeta and Zarek’s plan is to round up all the Cylons on the Galactica. The first to get grabbed and put in Caprica’s cell is Anders. The next down are Athena, Hera, and—just for good measure—Helo. Making things even worse, among the kidnappers is one of the Pegasus crewmembers who almost raped Athena back in season two. He’s still bitter about Helo and Tyrol killing the Pegasus’ interrogator, and he plans to take it out on her.
Back on Deck C Starbuck hears the evacuation order and immediately realizes that’s something up. She sneaks around a bit and sees a bunch of civvies arming themselves. Obviously something major’s going down, so she calls the CIC to tell Adama about it. Only Gaeta, who mans the phone, hangs up on her.
I know you enjoyed that, bro.
Lee’s trying to calm the Quorum down when Zarek marches in all “honey, I’m home!” He knows that when the mutiny starts going down he can get 11 of the 12 representatives on his side, but he won’t be able to convince Lee. Instead he has to get him out of the way.
An opportunity presents itself when Lee tries to call his dad to ask why Zarek was released. He’s summarily dismissed by Gaeta, who says “Yeah, yeah, fine, I’ll tell him you called.” Zarek preys on Lee’s daddy issues by insinuating that Adama’s a threat to democracy, which is why he’s shutting his son out and making excuses not to talk to him. Again.
Fine, says Lee. I’ll go the Galactica and talk to him! I’ll prove you wrong, see if I don’t!
It turns out that getting Lee out of the way by sending him to the ship where the mutiny is taking place isn’t the best idea. As soon as he lands a marine tries to arrest him, but Starbuck pops out of the woodwork and shoots the marine in the head. She even has a zinger: “Take it from someone who died once. It’s no fun.”
So now Lee and Starbuck—who’s happier than she has been in ages now that she has a mission to accomplish and a reason to commit violence—are sneaking around the ship with guns. By this point Gaeta’s cut the Galactica’s comms, and while Adama and Tigh haven’t figured out the extent of what’s going on they’ve started to realize that something‘s not right. Hoshi unintentionally sells out his boyfriend when he notes that the gas reading from Deck C is normal, which means there’s no fire there. Adama orders Private Jaffe to go and lay eyes on the situation. When he comes back things start to go down.
The jig well and truly up, Gaeta plays his hand and reveals THIS IS A MUTINY, FRAKKERRRRS! The mutinous Marines get a bit trigger happy and Jaffe ends up dying, which sends Adama from mere nail-spitting anger to apopleptic rage with a side of “Gaeta, I will tear your spine out through your mouth.” Gaeta says that he’s removing Adama from command and arresting him for treason, since he’s betrayed his oath to humanity by letting his affection for a Cylon (meaning Tigh) cloud his judgement.
Are you accusing someone else of letting their emotions get in the way of their decision-making, Gaeta?
Are you really?
Adama goes into Batman Voice Mode and tells all the conspirators that if they go through with the mutiny they won’t be forgiven. Gaeta doesn’t back down; he orders that Adama and Tigh be taken to the brig and all the senior staff (including Hoshi! Feeeeels.) be locked in a holding cell.
Starbuck and Lee get to Adama’s quarters, where they find Roslin. They decide that Roslin has a shot at stopping Zarek from taking over if she can get a message to the fleet. Luckily, they know someone who has a pirate radio…
Tyrol is in charge over at Baltar’s hippie cult headquarters, making sure the place is barricaded and keeping everyone from panicking. Later Lee asks why he’s being so helpful, and he responds that Adama deserves a better fate than the one the mutineers will give him. There’s a secondary storage bay that they can use to get him off the ship, Tyrol explains. You just have to get him there.
It’s been decided that Baltar has to get off the Galactica too, since the mutineers are probably coming for him. Oh, of course you think the entire revolt is about you. He doesn’t seem that sad to be leaving his worshipful brethren; the main hippie lady tearfully gives him a statue, and after his awkward goodbyes he tells her “Um, no. You can keep it. Really. It’s fine.”
Do I smell the end of the hippie cult plotline? Do I smell Baltar actually getting to do things again?
Roslin busts in and demands that Baltar let her use his wireless, saying “There’s a chance we can avoid bloodshed if I address the fleet and assure them the Cylons mean no harm.”
They give each other a bit of flak about their respective religions, but in the end Roslin gets her broadcast. In the meantime Adama and Tigh manage to overpower two armed Marines, incapacitating one and taking the other hostage. Tigh leaps on one of them like a howler (growler?) monkey. It’s glorious.
It’s clear that not all of Gaeta’s mutineers are 100% comfortable with the plan now that it’s stared to go down—it’s less that they’ve found a new love of Cylons than they’re really uncomfortable with acting against Adama. Matters aren’t helped when Roslin’s speech goes out. It’s a good one, all about how allying with the Cylons was a difficult decision to make, but it’s the only option humanity has left.
Couldn’t have done that a week ago, huh? All right. Fine. Whatever.
Adams and Tigh run into Lee and Starbuck, and there’s a bit of dispute because Starbuck wants to shoot the hostage marine. ‘Buck, you know I love you, but right now is not the time to quibble over POW treatment. The end result is that they let the guy go, and the four of them make their way to the secondary storage bay.
Roslin and Baltar, already waiting there, exchange a bit of banter about Gaeta and how they’ve both bad luck when it comes to choosing Presidential aides. Baltar then calls the CIC and begs Gaeta to stand down. “I know you’re a good, honorable man,” he says, “Even your failings—like what happened with Eight on New Caprica—have been understandable. I forgive you for them. If you want redemption this isn’t the way to go about it.”
Lords of Kobol, that hurt! The call wasn’t some PR move on Baltar’s part, something to make him look good: The only other person in the room is Roslin, who already hates him, and he stepped away and spoke quietly so she wouldn’t hear him anyway. This is just Baltar trying to convince a former friend—someone who hates him, who stabbed him in the neck and lied in court in the hopes he’d get the death sentence—not to go down the dark path he’s set himself on. Baltar looks really upset when Gaeta hangs up on him. They were actually friends. Baltar still cares about Gaeta. I can’t handle this.
Gaeta notices that there’s a Raptor heading to the secondary storage bay, so he sends a group of Marines to cut the doors open and stop Roslin from leaving. Adama’s not going with her, because a Captain goes down with his ship and he won’t be able to live with himself if he leaves and all that. Plus he needs to stand guard and make sure Roslin’s Raptor gets away. After a makeout session that leaves Lee and Starbuck standing around awkwardly…
…the Raptor takes off with Roslin and Baltar onboard. Lee and Starbuck go do to whatever it is they’re going to do, leaving Adama and Tigh behind for a shootout with Gaeta’s Marines. It’s a suicide mission, and it might not even ensure Roslin’s safety, since the end of the episode shows Gaeta giving the order to fire on the fleeing Raptor.
I’m calling it: His underlings are going to refuse.
Marines throw a grenade into the secondary hangar bay, and if Tigh sacrificed himself by shielding Adama from the blow I will kill something.
Blood on the Scales
It is impossible to fully express my reaction to Gaeta’s death with a mere gif. I need a video:
As I predicted, not everyone is OK with Gaeta’s orders to shoot down President Roslin’s Raptor. Specifically, Hot Dog refuses to fire once Roslin gets through the comm jam and announces her identity. Hot Dog, my boy! Let me hug you. His fellow pilot Narcho has no such reservations. But Athena pulls some evasive maneuvers, and the Raptor lands safely on the Basestsar. There Roslin convinces the Cylons not to jump away by using the Final Four card: Adama’s still on the ship, so he could resolve the situation. Don’t give him the chance to do that and you’ll never see your precious fellow Cylons (minus Tory) again. She convinces them to move the Basestar into the middle of the fleet on the grounds that Gaeta doesn’t have the guts to shoot it when the civilian ships are right there.
Meanwhile Adama and Tigh are both alive, if a bit dinged up and captured by Gaeta’s Marines. Tigh’s been taken to the brig, where he and the other Cylons are fretting about what Gaeta plans to do to them. Adama gets marched to the CIC, where Gaeta tries to get him to convince Roslin to surrender. This is your ship now
, you frakking child, he responds. You want Roslin to do something? You can call her up and ask her yourself.
Zarek brings his smarm onto the Galactica, and through a chat with Gaeta we find out that they plan to try Adama for treason. Zarek doesn’t want to do it, but Gaeta insists that Adama answers for his myriad (perceived) evil actions, like leaving the fleet behind on New Caprica and allying with the Cylons.
Gaeta, I admire your dedication to due process. I really do, though I’d admire it more if you hadn’t shown your disrespect for it earlier by lying at Baltar’s trial. But Adama’s paid. He lost his ship. And it’s transparently obvious what’s going on here. I’ve called Gaeta a vindictive tool before, and that’s showing itself here. His insistence that Adama stand trial springs at least partially from the (illegal) trial that Gaeta was subjected to. He’s been put through some truly awful stuff—the trial, his leg—but unlike others, he cannot let it go. Like Hoshi said in the Gaetasode: A moral center. A strong, stubborn, occasionally wrong moral center.
Of course I come to the realization of similar Gaeta is to my favorite Game of Thrones character Stannis Baratheon in the episode where he dies, and therefore we won’t get to see any more of him. This show can go airlock itself.
In Adama’s quarters, now Gaeta’s, Zarek reads the charges to the ousted Admira: Treason, desertion, etc. etc. Adama, in true Old Man form, refuses to attempt to do anything that resembles placating the people who now have his life in their hands. They wanna shoot him? Fine. Whatever. He won’t give their trial any authority by taking part in it. And it’s not like it’s a fair trial anyway, ’cause Zarek’s the judge.
Unconvinced of the efficacy of Adama’s “You can go frak yourselves” defense is Romo Lampkin, who’s been called in to be Adama’s lawyer. He asks for a few minutes alone with his client, during which time he tries to convince Adama to at least defend his innocence for posterity. But Adama refuses–Gaeta and Zarek won’t be successful in his mutiny, which means he won’t need to convince future generations of anything, so there. Romo tries another tack, explaining that he should cooperate in order to give the people working to free him more chance to do so. But the Marines standing guard don’t much like that, and the meeting ends.
Meanwhile Zarek attends a meeting of the Quorum, which he’s relocated to the Galactica against Gaeta’s express wishes. Zarek gives a big speech about how great he and Gaeta are, but no one buys it, because no one wants them for their leaders.
Stop trying to make it happen, Zarek.
It’s not going to happen.
After they express their loyalty to Adama and Roslin, Zarek has them killed. All of them. The entire Quorum. Shot dead. Holy Jesus.
Gaeta, predictably, is all What the frak did you do?! I never agreed to this! But Zarek tells him to put his big boy pants on, buttercup, because this is what the coup is all about. What did you think was going to happen? For our next trick, we’ll kill Adama.
Poor Gaeta. He didn’t realize what a snake Zarek is the same way he didn’t realize what a snake Baltar is (was?). And now he’s in way too deep. If he and Zarek lose, he’s going to executed (*sob*). Even if he turns on Zarek and gives Adama back his ship, it’s probably too late for redemption. But if he and Zarek win he’s effectively handed the government over to a power-hungry murderer.
This whole time Tyrol’s been crawling around in the guts of the Galactica. He spends like 85% of this episode in tunnels for reasons we don’t know until the end, when it’s deus ex Tyrol. Anyway, there’s a scene here where he’s found by
Benny from Supernatural Kelly, who was arrested a few episodes back for trying to kill Romo. Kelly, being a Cylon hater, is firmly on Gaeta’s side… but he can’t seem to bring himself to shoot his old buddy. They have a bit of bro bonding, and Kelly lets him go.
Over on the Basestar Roslin is being flipping amazing. The Cylons decide that things are getting a little too hot for them and they’d rather leave the humans to their own devices. That doesn’t make Roslin angry. Or sad. Or desperate. Her response—I’m paraphrasing, but not that much—is “Wow, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were that stupid. Adama’s gonna kick Gaeta’s punk ass, and afterwards, if you’ve abandoned him, he is coming for your soul.”
While all this is going on Lee and Starbuck have been charging around the Galactica trying to find Adama. After a neat fake-out with an unarmed grenade the two of them get to the brig, and Lee is very upset that his dad’s not there. The entire group goes off to find him. There’s a nice moment where Starbuck stops to get weapons from some dead Marines and Anders immediately falls in behind her to do the same. They’re so similar, and Anders respects Starbuck’s judgement so much. Their romantic relationship didn’t work out, but they could still be such good friends.
Which, of course, is when Anders gets shot in the head.
Lee’s yelling at Starbuck that Anders won’t make it, which is probably accurate, because shot in the head. But Starbuck refuses to leave him, and the others continue on.
Now it’s time for Adama’s trial, which is basically him sitting in a room and getting yelled at for a few minutes before Zarek pronounces him guilty. Zarek gets a call that Tigh and everyone else in the brig are loose, but he turns it around and tells Adama that Tigh was killed trying to escape.
OOF. Bro feels!
I’m really sorry, Admiral, says Gaeta, but you did help Cylons. Like dear departed Tigh, for example, whom you let keep his job after you only found out what he was. Surprisingly, that tactic doesn’t make Adama any friendlier. To quote Supernatural, I’m pretty sure six seconds is too soon.
Right after Adama’s declared guilty a message from Roslin comes through on the PA, telling the fleet the Galactica’s been taken over by Gaeta, and shut down your FTL drives would you please? Turns out Leoben gave her some sort of technological whajahoozit that let her get through the comms block for a few seconds.
Starbuck’s dragging Anders through the halls when they come across Romo, who’s being escorted by a Marine. Said Marine is about to shoot Starbuck, which is bad for her because she’s out of ammo and can’t kill him first. So Romo takes him out with a pen to the neck.
Took out an armored, armed Marine.
With a pen.
And then he makes a point of taking his sunglasses from the Marine he just killed.
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that.
OK. Starbuck asks Romo to help her get Anders to Doc Cottle, and at first he says no and leaves. But then his conscience pokes its head up, and he goes back to help.
And that’s the last we see of them this episode. What happened to Anders?!
Ten of the 35 ships have followed Roslin’s orders and turned off their FTL drives. Zarek, ever the optimist, says that’s great because now they know who’s not with them. They can take the good ships with them when they jump away and leave the bad ships to fend for themselves. Gaeta orders that Marines escort Adama to the main hangar deck to be executed.
Benny Kelly goes too, but he lags behind and starts crying. When Lee’s group comes across him he tells them where Adama is and asks he can can join up with them, which is pretty great, actually.
There’s something weird going on with Baltar on the Basestar, by the way. Well, I don’t know if it’s really weird or if just seems weird because all the Gaeta feels in this episode are messing with my head. Baltar’s been getting friendly with a Six who just seems… odd. She has long hair, first off, which none of the other Sixes do. Baltar seems to recognize her from somewhere. She’s just different. And then there’s the way Baltar dreams that Adama’s being executed. It could be a normal nightmare… or it could be a prophetic dream (albeit one of a future that doesn’t end up happening). After he wakes up Weird Six tries to distract him with sex, but he’s paralyzed by a wave of self-loathing because he ran away again. He didn’t escape the Galactica because he was scarred for his life. He escaped because he was sick of the hippie cult. He realizes that, though he’s dismissed them as Grade A idiots in the past, they’re his responsibility, and he has to go back for them.
Wow. That’s some character growth right there.
The cheese, as my grandfather always used to say, is getting binding. Adama’s about to be executed. Lee and the others are trying to get there in time to rescue him. Roslin sends a message to Gaeta saying he has five minutes to surrender. At this point I think he really wishes he could, because we see him in Adama’s office and IS THAT A FRAKKING TEAR?
IT’S A FRAKKING TEAR.
IF THERE WERE A STUFFED ANIMAL HERE I’D RIP ITS HEAD OFF.
He wants so badly to undo what he’s done, but he can’t. I thought for a split second he might surrender, but no. It’s gone too far now. He places the Admirals’ pins that Adama (scornfully) gave him earlier in the episode on Adama’s table, accepting that Adama’s the true leader and he’s not and he never could have been and he tried so hard and got so far, and in the end it doesn’t even matter, oh my frakking Gods, I can’t handle this! Ahem. Anyway. He makes the call to carry out the execution.
But it’s a moot point, because Lee & co. got there and stopped it in time. Adama tells Tigh that he thought he was dead, and Tigh responds that “For a while I was, Bill.”
Meaning when he thought Adama was going to die?
That’s… uncharacteristically sappy of you, Tigh. And I can’t be held responsible for the consequences:
Adama does a bit of speechifying to the Marines who were about to kill, and I guess he gets them on his side, because they all (except the main one) march to the CIC to deal with Zarek and Gaeta.
Meanwhile Tyrol is still crawling through tunnels. This episode must’ve been fun for the actor.
Zarek calls up Roslin and tells her that both Tigh and Adama are dead, and if you thought you would get her to surrender, BOY, YOU ARE SO WRONG. I’ve dealt with a lot of sadness this episode, but this scene with Roslin had me staring at my screen in utter glee. She’s basically like
with a pinch of
and a whole heaping side of
It is, in a word, splendid.
Gaeta and Zarek are about to jump the part of the fleet loyal to them away, but it turns out Tyrol’s been aiming for the FTL drives, which he disables at the very last minute. Props to him for immediately figuring out “Hey, wouldn’t it be good if the mutineers couldn’t take the Galactica and run away?” Though after he’s had his great heroic moment he sees a crack in the wall. Some sort of inner hull breach? Whatever it is, it doesn’t look good.
By this point Gaeta’s realized it’s over. Adama will use his skin for a washcloth. He orders, against Zarek’s urgings, that the ship stop preparing to shoot the Basestar. Adama gets to the CIC and… yep, everything’s over. Gaeta and Zarek surrender.
Roslin and Adama have a reunion, and my moment of happiness—you’ve done so well this episode, my pair of badasses—is halted by the scene that broke my soul.
That would be the Gaeta/Batlar friendship scene. Show, how dare you slam me with a brOTP when Gaeta has minutes left to live. He tells Baltar about his childhood aspirations—at first he wanted to be an architect, and later he came to love science. He even thought he was good at it, “until I met you.”
Baltar’s face. You can tell that ripped out his heart and stomped on it, because he really does care about Baltar. Even when Baltar was a little sh*t like 90% of the time, they must’ve gotten to know each other on New Caprica. There were all the sycophants and the people who wanted to use Baltar for their own purposes—and he absolutely cooperated with that, and encouraged it, because narcissism. But Gaeta was probably the only person in his life whom he could even remotely think of as his friend. And now they both know Gaeta’s going to die.
But Gaeta’s calm. Almost detached. He even jokes with Baltar, making self-deprecating comments about his childhood dreams of making restaurants shaped like food. “I’m fine how things have worked out,” says Gaeta. “Really, I am. I just hope that people realize eventually who I am.” Baltar tells him that he does.
Gaeta and Zarek are taken to the execution chamber, and as if my feels aren’t bad enough already Baltar’s there. He’s always taken the easy path, and no one—including Gaeta—would blame him for not being there in Gaeta’s last moment. But he stays. Gaeta faces his death with dignity. And right before he’s shot the pain/itching/whatever in his missing leg stops.
Did Starbuck and Romo get Anders to Doc Cottle in time? What’s the crack that Tyrol saw in the ship? What was with that weird Cylon? What’ll happen with the government now that the Quorum (minus Lee) is dead? What will Adama do to the people (OK, I’m really only concerned about Racetrack) who worked with Gaeta? At this point I don’t even care. Felix Gaeta, this goes out to you:
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