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Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recap: Resurrection Ship, 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.

In which Lee’s really starting to bug me, Starbuck saves humanity without even breaking a sweat, and something happens that’s cuter than Billy.

Resurrection Ship, Part I

This episode starts exactly where last week’s left off, with Vipers from the Galactica preparing to invade the Pegasus to rescue Helo and Tyrol. Admiral Cain launches Vipers of her own, and it looks they might start shooting it out until an unidentified ship shows up. Presuming it to be a Cylon, Vipers from both ships band together to turn against it.

Except it’s not a Cylon at all. It’s Starbuck, on her way back to the Galactica from performing her recon mission, during which she got tons of great pics of the mysterious Cylon ship. Realizing who she is, the other pilots stand down and, tension broken, head back to their respective Battlestars.

Did Starbuck just accidentally prevent a war? Damn, girl.

Afterwards Adama and Cain meet on the Colonial One to (hopefully) work out their differences. Their couples counseling discussion is mediated by Roslin, who tells them their only options are compromise or all-out war. By this point Cain has seen Starbuck’s recon photos, one of which shows that the mystery ship is home to lots of Six bodies. In the interest of killing more Cylons Cain says she’ll hold off on executing Helo and Tyrol until after the Cylon fleet has been destroyed.

Back on the Pegasus Admiral Cain summons Starbuck and, far from punishing her for disobeying orders, promotes her to CAG. She needs someone who’s gutsy, she explains, and the current CAG obviously can’t be trusted because he let Starbuck and Lee pull one over on him. So she demotes one dude for failing to stop insubordination, revokes Lee’s flight status for participating in it… and then promotes Starbuck for doing it in the first place. She doesn’t even give a hoot what anyone thinks, does she? I kind of love her.

So does Starbuck, particularly after Cain says the fleet’s ultimate goal should be, not to find Earth, but to return to the 12 colonies and kick the Cylons out. In turn, Cain is impressed by Starbuck insisting that Lee be reinstated to flight status. Caaaaaan you feel the mutual respect toniiiiiight?

Meanwhile, back on the Colonial One, Roslin’s trying to convince Adama that clearly the only thing he can do in this situation is kill Admiral Cain. Wait, what? Laura! Her reasoning is that it’s only a matter of time before Cain attacks him and then moves on to do who-knows-what to the civilian fleet, so he has to strike first. Adama’s not exactly receptive to the suggestion and stalks out, but not before Roslin tells him that he knows she’s right and just doesn’t want to admit it. Unspoken is the fact that Roslin won’t be around for much longer and doesn’t want to die fearing that the fleet won’t be far behind her.

Adama heads to the Galactica’s sick bay to visit Boomer and personally apologize for her almost being raped on his ship. He then orders she be taken back to her cell. He’s treating her more and more like a human on a personal level while still seeing her as a enemy from a military perspective. Don’t get me wrong, he has no reason not to do both those things. But I foresee his weird attitude coming to a boiling point sometime soon.

Meanwhile, aboard the Pegasus Helo and Tyrol get a visit from Lee, who tells them their execution has been delayed. Later in the episode Tyrol tells Helo that once they get out (so optimistic!) he’s going to “let go” of his residual feelings for Boomer. Helo admits that his feelings for Boomer sometimes make him think he’s losing his mind, but he can’t walk away, because it’s twu wuv.

But what of Battlestar Galactica‘s even more dysfunctional human/Cylon relationship? Baltar’s physically on the Pegasus with prisoner!Six, but mentally he’s chilling in his Caprica dreamspace with his Six, who’s lounging on the bed whilst he gets his brood on near the window. He seems a bit down in the dumps, which he explains as being because he’s “just lost interest” in Caprica and doesn’t really miss it anymore. Right now I really wish I had comments enabled so you guys could reassure me that I’m not the only one whose brain went straight to erectile dysfunction. Six tells him a story about the thing she misses most, which is sports. She used attend pyramid games to feel the energy of the crowd wash over her, and she always bought him a ticket because she wanted to feel like he was there, too.

He mentally zaps back to the cell when Cain pays a social call to tell him to have prisoner!Six look at the surveillance pictures of the mystery ship. Oh, and she also kicks prisoner!Six around a little bit. That might be what prompts Six to snap and try to choke the life out of Baltar once Cain leaves. She lets go, leaving both of them majorly freaked out, and begs him to kill her. Six—or at least a version of her—is crying. I’m not used to this.

Later she tells him that that mystery ship is called the Resurrection and that it holds the Cylons’ spare bodies. The Cylons we’ve met so far are too far away from their homeworld to skip to new bodies once they “die” without the Resurrection ship being there to serve as a sort of base. Essentially, once that ship is destroyed any Cylons the good guys manage to kill will be permanently dead. Cain and Starbuck are thrilled by the news that such an important ship is within their grasp, as is prisoner!Six, who really does want to die for good.

Back on the Galactica Adama and Tigh make a chilling discovery: Cain used to have a civilian fleet, but she stripped the ships to get spare parts for the Pegasus. The civilians were left stranded out in the blackness of space, unable to escape or fight back should the Cylons eventually find them. Cain did take a few “valuable” individuals for her own military use—one of those is Laird, Tyrol’s used-to-be-a-civilian deck chief replacement from last episode—but refused to take their families, too. In fact, she had the families of those who refused to go killed.

That’s enough to convince Adama that Roslin was right about killing Cain, so he hatches a plan: After the joint attack by the Pegasus and the Galactica on the Cylon fleet Starbuck will visit Cain on the bridge, wait for Adama to call her and say the code word, and shoot Cain in the head.

Unbeknownst to Adama, but knownst to us, Cain is ordering her XO—whom it’s about time I started calling by his name, which is Jack—to do pretty much the exact same thing to Adama. The only change is that Jack will have a group of marines as backup, whereas Starbuck will only have Lee.

Oh, shenanigans.

Resurrection Ship, Part II

This episode starts with Lee floating in a body of water, but surprise! He’s actually drifting in space, sans ship, about to die. From there we flash back to 48 hours earlier for the rest of the episode. I guess the battle against the Resurrection ship didn’t go so well for him, hmm?

Back before Lee was Major Tom-ing it up (OK, Major Tom was in a ship, but let me have my David Bowie reference, darnit), he was chatting with Starbuck about how she’s been asked to assassinate Admiral Cain. Starbuck is determined to carry out her mission and Lee assures her he’ll be her backup, but neither of them much like what’s been asked of them.

Starbuck gets some moral support from one hell of a weird place: Admiral Cain. She imparts to Starbuck a General Life Lesson that sometimes you have to do terrible things in service of a greater goal, and when the time comes you can’t let your conscience get in the way. Something about Starbuck gives her faith that she’s not the sort to flinch at an unsavory task, says Cain, but all the same she makes Starbuck promise that she won’t hesitate when the time comes.

Did… did Cain just accidentally convince Starbuck to shoot her?

Lee, meanwhile, has gone to see his father. Not to question his decision to have Cain assassinated or anything; he just wants to hear the order from Adama’s own lips. No judgement here, no sirree. Oh, Lee. Your sense of moral superiority is showing. Adama’s response is “You can suck it up and put on your big boy pants or I’ll find someone else to do it. Anyway, your beloved President’s the one who said Cain had to die. *z snap*” Lee, appropriately schooled, retreats to, presumably, angst in private.

After his chat with Lee Adama sits down with Boomer to ask her why the Cylons hate humans so much. Her response is that they don’t hate humanity necessarily… they just think it’s so flawed that it doesn’t deserve to exist. It’s an idea she got from Adama’s off-the-cuff speech during the miniseries, actually. Man, this episode is full of people’s words being used against them, huh?

Personal drama out of the way, it’s time for the big battle against the Cylon fleet to start. Surprisingly, things go pretty much perfectly: Lee, in the Blackbird, blows the Resurrection ship’s FTL drive, leaving it a sitting duck for the Vipers to take out while the Battlestars engage with the larger Cylon ships. The only thing that really goes wrong is the aforementioned Lee-being-ejected-into-space thing. Oh, and he’s hazy from lack of oxygen, so he can’t respond when Dee tries to get ahold of him. Just after passing out he’s rescued by a Raptor, which has time to get him now that the battle’s over…

… which also means that the assassinations can begin.

But first let’s find out what Baltar, Six, and prisoner!Six have been up to. Before the battle Six tells Baltar there’s no way God will forgive the destruction of the Resurrection ship, but when Baltar asks prisoner!Six she says God forgives everything. So now Baltar has two Sixes manipulating him at once, assuming prisoner!Six is manipulating him, which she very well might be. Because: Six.

From discussion of eternal damnation we turn to storytime, with Baltar telling prisoner!Six the same anecdote Six told him last episode, about Caprica and sports and scalping tickets. The upshot appears to be that Baltar has chosen prisoner!Six over Six. Dealt a (metaphorical) mortal blow by symbolism, Six disappears, possibly (likely?) for good.

Gotta say, the importance of the sports story left me a little bit bzuh?, but whatever, it’s poetic. Plus it means that since there’s only one Six now I can do away with the whole awkward prisoner!Six naming thing. Yaaay!

Later on, when a guard comes to escort Baltar out of Six’s cell, Six jumps the dude, snaps his neck, and takes his gun. She tells Baltar to kill her, but he refuses, saying that more than death she needs justice. He tells her that she knows a place where she can stay and be safe, but instead of responding she runs off.

How’s Cain doing, by the way? Still alive?

Yes, as it turns out. In the aftermath of the battle Starbuck and Jack are awaiting orders to kill their respective targets, but both Adama and Cain call it off at the last minute. Adama’s reason hearkens back to his discussion with Boomer: It’s not enough to survive, humans have to also be worthy of surviving. Cain doesn’t tell Jack what her reason is for not having him shoot Adama, but presumably it’s something similar. That’s nice. Cain might’ve been irascible and morally grey, particularly regarding her treatment of prisoner!Six, but when it comes down to it she puts ego aside and acts for the good of humanity. As a character, if not necessarily as a person, I like her.

So of course Six breaks into her room and kills her two scenes later. Oh, come on!

Starbuck gives a short speech at Cain’s funeral, wherein she sticks it to Adama by saying that Cain always did what needed to be done to ensure the survival of humanity, and that the fleet was safer with her than it is without. I smell brewing tension.

The episode ends with Adama and a near-death Roslin chatting aboard the Colonial One. Roslin gives Adama a pin to celebrate his promotion to Admiral, which he technically is now that he commands more than one ship. Oh, and a somewhat weepy-eyed Adama kisses Roslin before Billy helps the ailing President back to her quarters.

So Billy was just… in the background of that whole scene? I’m having fun imagining him trying to focus on paperwork while his OTP is becoming canon just a few feet away from him. “Awwww,” I imagine him thinking, trying to hide his adorable be-dimpled smile behind a requisitions form, “those two are cuter than I am.”

Also in this episode:

  • Tyrol and Helo, still locked up aboard the Pegasus, get tied up and beaten by two of the guys who were making jokes about Cylon rape a few episodes back. They’re rescued by Jack, who gives their attackers a thorough dressing down for assaulting superior officers. Later the two are freed, after which they visit Boomer on the Galactica. Tyrol makes good on his promise to get over his quasi-ex-Cylon-girlfriend by leaving her and Helo to their heartwarming reunion. I knew this was the wrong show to expect a wacky love triangle subplot from. Darnit.
  • When Jack and the marines from the Pegasus board the Galactica pre-battle, Tigh tells Jack to make sure the marines know their areas of responsibility in case they’re boarded by Cylons, as the last thing they want to happen is colonials shooting at one another. Oh, Tigh. The only jokes you make are unintentional.
  • After being rescued from certain death Lee tells Starbuck he’s sorry he couldn’t be on the Pegasus to back her up. Dude, your ship got shot, leaving you free-floating in space and slowly suffocating. I’m pretty sure she understands why you couldn’t make it. It’s not like you said you were running late because your dog ate your homework. He then says he didn’t want to make it back alive, which Dee overhears.

In an effort to avoid spoilers, comments on this post have been locked. However, Jill and Susana will be reading comments over at our Facebook page. So if there’s anything you’d like to say in response to this post, head on over that way. Former Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recaps can be found here, and next week’s recap is here. Have a (non-spoilery, for the love of God) comment? Hit me up on Twitter.

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