Battlestar Galactica: Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2

"So. Take me to your leader."

During the election scenes, I kept thinking, yeah, go ahead. Elect Gaius Baltar president and settle on Planet Perfect, and you'll be sorry. I just never expected them to actually do it.

They not only changed the whole series, they skipped ahead an entire year. (Someone's been watching Alias.) I could just feel that final attack coming. What surprised me was that the colonials didn't even put up a fight. In fact, suicide was a general theme, since the episode began with Starbuck's suicide pact with Anders, and ended with the revelation that Real Six's suicide revealed the presence of the colonials on Planet Perfect.

Even though it shook me up and surprised me, I found this episode oddly dissatisfying. Maybe it was seeing half the cast living in tents in the freezing cold. Or that Starbuck married a guy whose entire life consists of playing Pyramid. I think the big problem for me was that there wasn't a split. No one even discussed it. (Or we didn't see them discuss it.) Why didn't half or a third of the colonials decide to just keep going toward Earth? Plus, after so many years of vigilance after the first Cylon war, Adama allowed his guard to fall after only one year? No way.

Moving right along. In other news, Brother Cavil is indeed Cylon number seven. They gave us a lot of hints in the previous episode, but I actually did a loud "woo-hoo" when he was revealed. Interesting that Brother Cavil, the religious Cylon, is an atheist. This puts paid to my theory about the Cylon god being a corporeal being, and about faith being built into their programming. I wonder where the faith comes from, then?

Finally, the drunk scene with Anders, Starbuck, and Lee was disturbing. I've been trying to figure out why it bothered me so much. Maybe it was seeing Starbuck so wild and out of control – again. Maybe it was that she was so rude to Lee. Now that I've finally seen them together, I noticed that Anders looks a lot like Lee. Was this casting intentional?

In the space of one year...

— Gaius turned into a seriously bad president. The death of Real Six appears to have pushed Gaius into a lifestyle of sex and drugs and not caring very much.

— Adama grew a huge mustache.

— Starbuck married Anders, and grew hair halfway down to her butt. Anders has pneumonia, and there are no more antibiotics. Major hint that he may not be around for season three. Fine with me.

— Lee and Dualla stayed a couple, and she transferred to Pegasus.

— Gaeta now works for Gaius.

— Starbuck and Tigh buried the hatchet.

— Chief Tyrol and Cally became a couple. And now he's a bearded, glasses-wearing union president, and she's very pregnant. I don't think I'd marry a man that broke my jaw, extenuating Cylon nightmare circumstances or not.

— Roslin started teaching school. That felt right.

— Maya named her baby Isis. Another major goddess name. What are the odds?

— Leoben was looking for Starbuck. I wonder if it was because she tortured him (or another version of him) back in "Flesh and Bone."

Bits and pieces:

— This week's survivor count at the beginning of the episode: 49,550. That's 29 deaths. Plus, I wonder how many were lost when Cloud Nine exploded? The population of New Caprica was given as 39,192.

— There was no teaser. And this episode was ninety minutes long.

— Maybe Roslin should have invested in hackable Diebold machines with no paper trail. I wonder if the nearly stolen election changed the relationship between Adama and Roslin.

— Caprica Six and Sharon One changed Cylon society. But not for long.

— Sharon Two didn't expose Brother Cavil, and couldn't say why. I wonder if there's some kind of programming that keeps them from exposing each other?

— What happened to Sharon Two? Is she still in the brig?

Quotes:

There were a couple of interesting sci-fi references. Harvey Six actually said, "Judgment Day." And Sharon came close to saying, "Resistance is futile."

"I don't have to listen. I'm the president." and "How many Cylon attacks have there been since I took office?" Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I don't often bother with the end credits, but the cartoon closer was funny this week: "And now, a moment of zen as we reflect on season two."

Cavil: "Cylon and Man will now go our separate ways. No harm done."
Adama: "No harm? You completely annihilated our race and destroyed our civilization."
Cavil: "Now, if you're going to start pointing fingers..."

Laura: "Are people really going to be that stupid? Are they really going to be that short-sighted?" Well, yeah.

Laura: "I know in my gut that settling on this planet is going to mean disaster for humanity, and I will not say otherwise just to win an election." Let's trust Laura's gut next time, shall we?

Ellen Tigh, re: New Caprica: "Pretty exciting."
Starbuck: "Yeah, that wears off."

Chief: "What do you want to do now, Captain?"
Starbuck: "Same thing we always do. Fight them until we can't."
This was essentially the opening and the closing of this two part finale.

This episode did not make me happy. But it certainly shook me up and I yelled at the television set. Ipso facto, it should probably get a four,

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

4 comments:

Patryk said...

Fascinating episode. Was expecting it to be more fighting then the election taking center stage, but what I got was what I needed not what I wanted/expected (as Joss says).

One thing I don't understand is Tortured!Six suicide via bomb. The suicide I get, but why so big. Was the whole point of alerting the Cylons? Or killing many people (about 10k judging from the numbers of New Caprica citizens)?

The bomb obviously dissapeared from Gaius' lab, so why no investigation and subsequent impeachment?

Life on New Caprica was appropriately dreary. Characters in new fitting roles. Maybe apart from Gaeta, assistant to the president, really?

The heroes of the Cylons were the ones that came to Baltar, but how much power do they still have? What's the new plan? More hybrds?

Overall very thought provoking, and Pegasus still is operational! Way to go with subverting my expectatations. Excellent.

For next season I wish myself a short stay on New Caprica and back to the traveling through the galaxy. There is something in the ragtag fleet of ships that I find really captivating.

ChrisB said...

Although I give a round of applause to the writers for so effectively changing the game, there was a lot about this episode that really bothered me.

My biggest problem was the Chief/Cally relationship. It is never, I say never, acceptable for one person to beat another so badly that her jaw is broken. And, not only were there no repercussions for the Chief, but Cally then went and slept with him. I HATE it when this message is sent out into the world.

And, as for the pregnant Cally, I'm nearly convinced that the Chief is a Cylon. If he is, then it would seem that that Cylons cannot impregnate each other, only humans. Interesting.

I, too, was wondering about Sharon Two. Where is she? She scares me a little bit now. I can see evil things lurking in that mind.

Lee and Kara seem to have fallen out completely. I can't really blame him because she was pretty awful to him when she returned from Caprica. I was sorry to hear that she married Sam, but it did seem as though she cared about him -- as least as much as she is capable of.

Finally, poor Gaius. Brings ruin and devastation down on the humans not once, but twice. The look on his face when he realised what Six and his bomb had done was pitiful. And, I'm sure his guilt is what led to his very quick surrender.

A much better season than the first one. I was much more engaged in the characters and the story. I am interested to see where they are going to take it all now.

Baz said...

Well i'll get the most important thing out of the way first. Wonderful moustache Adama....

Baltar was even worse than I expected. And I didn't expect much. I was surprised when I first watched this one that they actually elected him, and then more shocked when they skipped a year of settlement to see everyone had started their new lives.

New Caprica - more like new Craprica. (Ho ho ho!) terrible place, but it still beats running for your lives every day I would assume. Looks like they never managed to fully restart civilisation, and then the cylons return...

Leoben really is obsessed with Starbuck isn't he? I don't get why the cylons were even looking for the flee though - hadn't they decided to leave them be? Or was that a lie... I seem to remember that being answered at some point, so maybe I just need to wait an episode or two?

Excellent episode, and nice to have a finale with a political theme not just explosions :)
Can't wait to see (remember) how they resolve the new Caprica arc!

Victoria Grossack said...

Sharon Two is inconsistent. If she really believes that the humans murdered her baby, why did she come back? She could have stayed on Caprica with the other Cylons.

But I love the moment when the two Dean Stockwells meet.