Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Battlestar Galactica: A Measure of Salvation

Helo: "I'm talking about right and wrong. I'm talking about losing a piece of our souls."

Again with the big, tough, thought-provoking questions. I was drowsy when this episode came on. The subject matter shocked me awake.

Can the genocide of an entire race ever be warranted, even when the enemy is actively trying to do it to you? Even with the Cylons targeting Earth? The Colonials didn't invent the illness, but how could they ignore a weapon like that, just thrust into their hands?

This was Helo's episode, and he again proved he is quite a guy. Even Sharon Athena was looking at it as a fait accompli, something she would just have to accept because of the choices she had made. Is Helo a hero or a traitor? Taking action like that when you could be executed for it takes immense courage. And I'm certain Adama was relieved that someone took it out of his hands. I'm certain he knew who it was, too.

There was a parental warning before the show that was repeated before the torture-with-sex scene. (Was the warning for the sex, or the torture? This is the U.S., so probably the sex.) As he was having sex with her in his head, Gaius shouted that he believed in Harvey Six, sort of like an adult version of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. Did D'Anna think that Gaius had gone crazy?

Caprica Six was in serious distress while Gaius was being tortured. So was I, for that matter. It's a tribute to James Callis and the complexity they've given that character that, even after he has betrayed the human race multiple times, I still care about Gaius. Gaius is now willing to do anything to stay alive when only a short time ago, he was suicidal. Maybe he should have chosen death, after all.

Adama now knows that Gaius is alive, and literally bleeding intelligence to the enemy. What will he do about it?

Bits and pieces:

— 41,420 survivors. Two less than last week. I'm spacing it out. Who died?

— What Harvey Six said about Cylons interpreting sensation any way they wanted explained a lot about what was going on when Starbuck tortured Leoben in "Flesh and Bone." No wonder he's in love with her.

— Lee showed some serious blood lust. Genocide was his idea in the first place, and he was pissed when he found the five Cylons dead.

— The early scene where the five Cylons joined hands and prayed was powerful. Interesting that it was Simon who betrayed his race out of fear of the disease. He's the doctor, after all.

— The biofeedback thing that endangered the resurrected Cylons didn't make sense to me, but hey, I went with it. But would it truly have been genocide? Cylons are everywhere. Vast reaches of space and all. Wouldn't it just kill the Cylons in the immediate vicinity of the download? Wouldn't they just isolate a second time?

— The gooiness of the Cylon technology adds a creepy layer to the alien nature of the Cylons. The fact that the Centurians were in danger from the sickness too implied that they have gooey organics inside them as well, like the raiders.

— The Cylon lack of immunity to the encephalitis reminded me of the Europeans giving the Indians measles and pox.

— Gaeta got a haircut and was back in uniform. In fact, everyone was back at their old job, except for Helo. It was great to see Starbuck back in the cockpit.


Helo: "Genocide. So that's what we're about now."

Sharon Athena: "Our baby saved my life." And it even made sense.

Helo: "They'll be coming for me. You or me. Seems like they're always coming for one of us."

Cylon Sharon to Sharon Athena: "Traitor. Save yourself." This stayed with me. Why would a Cylon warn Sharon Athena to save herself? Would a human do the same if they were dying and Gaius found them? I think not. I think they'd spit on him.

Gaius: "This is a most profound misunderstanding." Gaius told the truth this time, and they didn't believe him. Instant karma's gonna get you.

Laura: "The Cylons are our mistake. We created them."

Even though this was a hard episode to watch, and not one that lends itself to repeated watching, I still have to give it four stars,

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


  1. I wanted Apollo to succeed, of course you can' wipe out the main threat so soon in the series. The plan had to fail, but it would be better if the Cylons just invented a cure or just abandoned their resurrection ship. Helo becoming a traitor and Adama letting it slide wasn't what I expected.

    Baltar just proved to be too kinky to torture so they'll probably let him go and maybe finally integrate him into the Cylon community. As a leader preferably. :)

  2. This isn't my favourite two-parter, but as usual with BSG it's still great. The reason I still enjoy it so much is that even after a couple of viewings I STILL can't tell if I agree with Helo or not.

    The cylons did start this, then continue it, and then decide to go to the only place they knew the Humans wanted to go to... But it's GENOCIDE...

    Very difficult decision and many shades of grey. (not 50 though). One thing though - Helo has guts.

  3. >>"Did D'Anna think that Gaius had gone crazy?"
    I was wondering if she thought he was talking to her lol, she seemed transfixed by his escape from the pain.

    I'm glad Helo was the only one who was treasonously against it. It was a good episode but I wasn't at all convinced about it being a grey area. They're a very immediate threat to your survival, they lied about granting you a reprieve, and the crew knows now that the cylons also want to find the same Earth. It's just too simple and clear for me.

    Well, I got satisfaction from Roslin and Lee really gunning for it remorselessly. And Roslin seemed more tolerant than won-over by Adama's mercy towards Helo. And Sharon was gracefully resigned to it. So all the character beats felt right, and I don't really hold it against Helo either. I just don't think it would've torn man's soul, that's too dramatic... the stuff on New Caprica was more dangerous. Letting civilians come to harm in your bombings, and even executing collaborators. But maybe I'm Othering the cylons too much now.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.