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Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recap: Home Parts I and II

Recap

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.

Is the fleet ever, ever, ever getting back together?

Home: Part I

Looks like Adama’s craggy cool has been broken by the defection of his son to the Laura Roslin side of the Force. Though the loss of approximately a third of the fleet on what he considers a fool’s errand to find Earth isn’t helping either.

With Lee gone Adama and Tigh have to find a suitable replacement CAG, which kind of sucks because there aren’t really any great candidates. Lacking someone with qualifications like “military experience” and “proven leadership skills,” Adama instead decides to settle on Lieutenant George Birch, who’s basically a stand-in son: Honest, loyal, and willing to follow orders. Oh, Adama. A psychologist would have a field day with you.

Tigh doesn’t agree with Adama choosing the green-behind-the-ears Birch as CAG, but he supports Adama’s decision anyway, because that’s what an XO does. Turns out Tigh was right on this one: Birch’s screw-up while leading a flight exercise almost gets a pilot killed, and he can’t coordinate a simple refueling mission without messing it up royally. The poor guy was thrust into a position he just wasn’t ready for.

As it happens, that’s a position Adama finds himself in as well. He holds a press conference and proceeds to failboat mightily, refusing to answer the reporters’ questions and responding to a rumor that he doesn’t know the way to Earth by threatening to lock up anyone who reports it. Yeah, that’ll go over well. At least he has a newfound respect for Roslin’s ability to deal with the press now. Respect the Roslin.

Later on, after delivering a monologue about betrayal and rage while building a miniature ship (he’s turned into a high school goth. Minus the ship thing) he gets a dressing down from, of all people, Dee, who pretty much tells him he needs to get his head out of his ass. You asked me to spend time with you because you didn’t think I’d tell you things you don’t want to hear, but I will, she explains. You let us down by splitting the fleet apart when you promised we’d all get to Earth together.

Her Moment of Awesome has an effect: At the end of the episode Adama announces that their family’s been split apart for too long, so he’s putting the fleet back together. Even Tigh looks less murderous than usual at the news.

So what’s Roslin been up this whole time? Her third of the fleet is hanging out above Kobol, where they’re waiting for Starbuck to show up with the Arrow of Apollo. Zarek suggests they find a way to arm the ships in case the Galactica decides to attack, to which Lee responds with a bomb of his own: A truth bomb (I amuse myself way too much sometimes). If Adama wants them dead, they’ll die. Roslin backs him up, pointing out that Adama let their mini-fleet go to Kobol in the first place. They’re here to go to the surface of Kobol and find the way to Earth, nothing else, and anyone who isn’t OK with that can GTFO back to the Galactica.

In a case of truly excellent timing Starbuck shows up soon after, though in that weird Cylon ship from the last episode, so she almost gets shot down. Upon seeing her Lee gives her a big ol’ smackeroo, which they both try to play off like it wasn’t totally frakking weird. Oh, these two. I ship it. The mood takes a turn for the dark when Boomer waltzes off the ship and Lee immediately attacks her, because of the whole “She’s a Cylon and another her shot my father” thing. Reasonable. Helo and Starbuck both try to get Apollo not to shoot her, explaining that she saved their lives, and Roslin appears to be on their side… until she gives the order that Boomer be airlocked, a fate from which the Cylon is saved only because she knows where the path to the Tomb of Athena is.

Roslin still doesn’t trust Boomer, so she threatens to airlock Helo if she doesn’t deliver on her promise to get them to the tomb. Not that Roslin would actually kill Helo (at least I think she wouldn’t), but if Boomer thinks that helping Roslin is the only way to save the man she loves then Roslin will darn well take advantage of that. You go, Roslin, turning the tables of psychological manipulation around on the Cylons. (Roslin’s not a Cylon… right?)

Meanwhile Zarek and his best bud Meier (ohai Dexters’s dad!) have giant hate-ons for pretty much everyone: Boomer (whom they think can’t be trusted, which is fair), Lee (whom they see as a useless little boy), and Roslin (whom they think is off her rocker in regards to the prophecy). They probably hate puppies, too. All they care about is themselves, and to that end they plan to “accidentally” kill Lee while on the surface of Kobol—after all, the scripture says someone will die there anyway—so Roslin will have no one else but Zarek to command her fleet.

Roslin may have resigned herself to working with Boomer, but Lee hasn’t: He threatens to shoot her again and has to be talked down by Starbuck. In a later scene they have another confrontation that kicks off when Lee steals Starbuck’s pyramid ball (which is actually Anders’ pyramid ball) and tries to use it as leverage to get her to talk about her ~feeeeelings~. Lee’s a good friend, so he knows something happend to her on Caprica and tries to get her to open up about it, though his method has more than a little eau de jerk about it. Emotional openness isn’t exactly Starbuck’s forte, though, so she clams up. Lee accidentally lets the L-word slip, too, albeit in a platonic context. Sure, Lee. Suuuuuure.

The crew (that’s Roslin, Starbuck, Boomer, Lee, Helo, Elosha the priest lady, Zarek, Meier, and a few redshirts guards) lands on Kobol and is set on the path to the tomb by Boomer. The prophecy about someone dying on Kobol comes true fairly quickly, but it’s not Lee. Instead it’s the priest lady Elosha, who steps on a Ye Holy Land Mine. The explosion catches the attention (and gunfire) of some Cylon centurions, who are only defeated when Boomer steals a grenade launcher and blows them up before giving the grenade launcher back like a good Cylon/Cylon who’s trying to get in good with the humans.

Also in this episode:

Elosha says that the scriptures mention a “lower demon” who will help the humans return to Earth. She and Roslin believe this to be Boomer. But the way Six interprets the prophecy has the endgame not as humans returning to Earth but as Cylon-human hybrids rising to power. Who’s the helpful “lower demon” in this interpretation? Is it still Boomer? If so, does that mean she’s still working with the Cylons? Or was the “help” just her getting pregnant? Could the “lower demon” be a different copy of Boomer? Is this copy of Boomer the copy we think it is? Am I reading way too much into a throwaway line?

Home: Part II

As Roslin and her Prophecy Pals are trekking through Kobol to find the Tomb of Athena, Adama’s aboard the Galactica doing his research on all matters religious. He figures if that he can figure out where the Tomb is he’ll be able to intercept Roslin on the way there. He notes that she might have seen the path to Kobol in a vision, which causes Tigh and Gaeta to have a mini gigglefit. But he’s serious, Adama explains. She has seen things, and whether they’re legitimate visions or just hallucinations, she believes they’re true.

That interaction is a microcosm of the show right there. You might think they’re going in a fun direction and making a joke. But no. And then a frakking exposition scene gets even darker: Adama says he and Roslin are coming back from the surface of Kobol together, dead or alive. Oh, Battlestar Galactica.

Going with Adama are Chief Tyrol, Racetrack, and Billy, the last of whom gets all sad about how he thinks Roslin won’t want to see him because he’s just an assistant and he chose not to escape from the Galactica with her. “Buck up, li’l Billy,” says Adama, “Roslin told me she thinks you’ll be president one day!” “Golly gee, she did?,” responds Billy. OK, no, he didn’t say that, but he is an adorable man-sized moppet. There’s no denying it.

Down on Kobol Boomer and Helo are being all lovey-dovey, or as lovey-double as a BSG romance can get, which is not very. (That’s a good thing. I hate sap.) Boomer reminisces about her old life (well, her copy’s old life. But she remembers it, so it’s kind of hers too. Whatever.) and talks about her baby, whom she says will be a girl. Lee’s majorly weirded out by Helo’s affection for Boomer, but Starbuck defends him. Later on Starbuck tells Roslin about the resistance movement on Caprica; Roslin, who’s not doing well health-wise, says they’ll discuss rescuing them after their mission to the Tomb is complete.

Meanwhile, Zarek and Meier have decided that, instead of killing Lee themselves, they’ll get Boomer to do it. Meier tells the Cylon that Lee will kill her as soon as she leads them to the Tomb, and no one will step in to save her and her unborn Cybaby, because when Cally shot the other Boomer she got off with just 30 days in the brig. Hmm. Trying to manipulate a super-smart robot, Meier? A super-smart robot who belongs to a species that specializes in psychological manipulation? That’ll go well.

That’s when Adama shows up. He and Lee hug—oh, my heart needed that—and Roslin and Billy get their happy reunion, as do Adama and Starbuck. Then things get intense when Boomer shows up and Chief Tyrol, understandably freaked out, pulls a gun on her.

Helo/Boomer/Chief Tyrol could be the most messed up love triangle ever.

Adama measures Boomer up for a moment before tackling her to the ground and telling her he wants her to die. He proceeds to choke her and only stops when he gets something like heartburn. OK, no, not heartburn, but Boomer did something to get him to back off. Then she says to him: “And you ask why?” Wait, what?! The moment she’s referring to took place back in The Farm, when Adama asked “Why?” to other!Boomer’s cold, dead corpse. So how could this Boomer have known about that? She says she doesn’t even remember shooting Adama, so how would she remember something that happened to another her when that other her was dead? What’s going on?!

Later Roslin and Adama make up, with Adama telling Roslin he forgives her for what she did and Roslin responding “Thanks, but I didn’t ask you to.” Has anybody made a Laura Roslin sunglasses “deal with it” gif? Because I really want one, but I can’t Google BSG-related gifs lest I be spoiled. #RecapperProblems

Boomer and Helo are having a srs bsns conversation, the Cylon telling her human boyfriend that the other her was killed. It’s made even more tense when Chief Tyrol walks in. Boomer says she’s never technically met him, but she remembers him. They hug. Again: Weirdest. Love triangle. Ever. Later, once Tyrol leaves, Boomer says something cryptic to Helo about how the humans don’t trust her and if they want to have any future together she’ll have to take matters into their own hands.

What “taking matters into her own hands” involves is seeming to go along with Zarek and Meier’s plan, which is now only Meier’s plan (Zarek realized the stupidity inherent in trying to kill Adama’s son with Adama right there), only to turn on him at the last minute. What’d I say about manipulating Cylons, Meier? Boomer pulls a gun on Adama and Meier pulls one on Lee, but Boomer shoots Meier instead. She then tells Adama that she makes her own choices before letting him go.

So her plan to get the humans to trust her is showing them that she could kill them at any time, even when she’s being constantly watched, she just chooses not to? How the hell is that supposed to be reassuring?!

Roslin, Adama, Lee, and Starbuck go into the tomb, which is filled with decrepit statues matching up to many of our own constellations. They insert the Arrow of Apollo into a statue of Sagittaron (Sagittarius, to us)-the-archer that’s conspicuously missing an arrow of its own. Suddenly they find themselves on what seems to be a completely different planet, surrounded by the same statues that were in the tomb. On each of those statues are jewels, and those jewels match up with constellations in the night sky above. It may look like another planet, but they’re actually standing on a map: The planet you’re standing on where you can see all those constellations is Earth. Lee even recognizes a particular nebula, so while they don’t know how far away Earth is, at least they have a direction.

I got chills.

Adams gives a big speech once they’re back on the Galactica about how they should remain undivided, and then he leads the assembled watchers in a big round of applause for Roslin.

Something tells me getting to Earth won’t be easy. Just a hunch.

Also in this episode:

  • Boomer, mid-theology (mythology?) lesson, gets all ominous about Athena, implying that the Lords of Kobol aren’t who (or what) the humans think they are. Evil Greek gods? I’m down.
  • The B plot in this episode is that back on the Galactica Baltar’s been talking smack about how the baby he and Six are supposed to have isn’t actually real. Six retaliates by telling him that she’s not in fact a Cylon, but merely a hallucination generated by his own mind. He hasn’t been chosen by God or anything. He’s just crazy. Enough with the bait-and-switch, show. I thought for a second there was some truth in what she was saying, and that I wasn’t just sitting through yet another case of Six-messes-with-Baltar-to-make-sure-he’s-on-her-side. But no. A brain scan proves that he’s fine. (For Baltar levels of “fine,” that is. Would “Help, I’m hallucinating a Cylon” even show up on a brain scan?) Six snaps back into no-I’m-really-a-Cylon mode, and at the end of the episode the two of them overhear Helo and Boomer talking about their unborn baby. Turns out Boomer’s kid is the one Six was talking about. Six says she’s an angel of God sent to guide and protect Baltar on his quest to bring about the end of the human race. Finally. Their plotline is starting to go somewhere.

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