Battlestar Galactica: The Captain's Hand

Starbuck: "Barely competent and paranoid. There's a hell of a combination."

So much for Pegasus commander number three.

Commander Garner made several huge mistakes. He didn't listen to Starbuck. He didn't listen to Lee. He didn't follow Adama's orders. He left the bridge during a crisis. He made the classic mistake of seeing everything in terms of his own specialty, instead of looking at the ship as a whole. At least he left the right person in temporary command, and died saving his ship. Garner meant well; he was a good engineer, but that doesn't make someone a good commander. Lee was right that command is about people, not machines. Adama must have been hard up to promote Garner in the first place.

Was giving Lee command of the Pegasus favoritism? Nah. Adama probably would have promoted any experienced officer who took command, saved Pegasus, and proved their worth in such an extreme battlefield situation. Although it's convenient that the new commander is now someone Adama can trust. Except for the fact that he and Lee have had some serious disagreements in the past... wait a second, I think I may have stumbled on an upcoming plot line.

The Pegasus has been going through commanding officers the way they went through principals at Sunnydale High. What's the life expectancy of a Pegasus commander? Is this command something that Lee truly wants? It would certainly give him a challenge, something to live for. That, and his new girlfriend. Although it's obvious that there's a Starbuck-related train wreck just waiting to happen in that situation.

It's interesting that the new relationship between Lee and Dualla appears to be causing major sparks between Lee and Starbuck. Lee has always understood Starbuck and her problems with authority in the past, so why was he suddenly so angry with her for being herself? Was it his near death experience? The almost having sex thing? At the very least, it was great to see Starbuck finally back in the saddle and enjoying herself again. If anyone belongs in a cockpit, it's Starbuck.

Gaius finally showed his true colors by pushing Laura into banning abortion, and then coming out against it. He made Laura look like an utter fool, but that was partly her own fault. I totally believe that she made the decision she thought was best for her people, but she didn't think it through. The reason people aren't having babies is because it's too soon after the trauma of nearly being wiped out. They're still in a state of war and running for their lives, which does not tend to make people want to nest and reproduce. Instituting The Handmaid's Tale isn't going to solve anything.

Under Geminon law, a child is the property of its parents? What's wrong with these people? It was too convenient that the girl had already had her abortion when Laura handed down her edict. Not to mention that just a few episodes ago, Laura was ordering an abortion for Sharon. No, wait, that's right. Cylons aren't human.

Bits and pieces:

— This week's initial survivor count: 49,584. That's six less than last week. Four dead terrorists, two marines, and Billy? That makes seven, not six. Unless Billy was a Cylon... but Laura wouldn't know that. Later in the episode, Laura's whiteboard showed 49,579, five more dead. That was the four lost pilots and Commander Garner.

— Gold acting stars to Jamie Bamber, who was wonderful in this episode. I especially liked his heavy scenes with Starbuck, and the way he quickly found his footing when he had to take command. Katee Sackhoff was also wonderful, as usual.

—- Doc Cottle was performing abortions for Geminons, religious fundamentalists who apparently were the only colony to criminalize it. Good for him.

— Billy has been replaced by Tori. "She's not Billy." "No, she's not."

— The election is approaching, probably in the season finale. Tom Zarek is now backing Gaius. I wonder if there is any dirty trick they won't do to get into power. It's time for Roslin to fight back by exposing Gaius as a Cylon sympathizer.

— Lee was just promoted twice in pretty much the same episode: first to major, and then to commander. Battlefield promotion extraordinaire.

— Pegasus and Galactica have nicknames: The Beast and the Bucket. The Beast nearly wound up in a bucket.

Quotes:

Lee: "Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?"
Starbuck: "You should hear the way my brain works sometimes. Are we okay?"
Lee: "You have a brain?"

Roslin: "You have your pound of flesh. I suggest you take your victory and move on."

Another slam bang episode. Three out of four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

3 comments:

Patryk said...

I wish they wouldn't insert scenes that never happened into the previously on. It ruins my immersion. Just tell us who's commander on Pegasus through a conversation or insert that scene into Black Market to make it less awful. But not like that.

But going past that, the episode is great. Every episode i'm anticipating the destructuion of Pegasus, this was very close. But now Lee Adama is in command so their life span just got longer. :)

A month between episode, they really want to have the elections in the finale i presume. Also did that scene with Gina/6 and Baltar happen? I don't remember her pushing him into running for president. But maybe i'm paranoid thanks to the previous unaired scene.

Bannig abortion while only having 50k people left is the only situation I would approve of it (the banning). But I don't think they have the coinditions to start raising tens or hundred of kids.

ChrisB said...

Great minds, Billie. More than once during this series I have thought about 'The Handmaid's Tale' and wondered if it would ever rear its head. I should have known it would.

Kudos to the producers and writers for tackling arguably the most controversial issue of our time head on. I was impressed with how it was handled.

I personally think that Laura floundered. It is obvious that people do not want to reproduce at this time as most of the babies born, as far as I can tell, were conceived prior to the Cylon attack. Additionally, I would find it extraordinarily difficult to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body.

One more thing, however. It has occurred to me more than once while watching the series that a lot of people are having a lot of sex. Considering that everything is in such short supply, what are they using for birth control?

Baz said...

That's more like it! :)

Excellent episode - loved all the Pegasus stuff, and the abortion / presidency story made me uncomfortable, which I think was the point! I'm 100% pro choice in real life, but in this situation, I can't in all honesty say I would still feel that way. Hopefully I never have to find out.

It'll be interesting to see how Baltar does in the polls - he's a snake, but he's just taken the scientific vote from Roslin, and he has Zarek's people too I'm sure...