Battlestar Galactica: Occupation

Starbuck: "You're insane."
Leoben: "To know the face of God is to know madness."

I'm so pleased that they decided to go for a lighter, comedic touch this season.

Yes, I'm kidding. It wouldn't be Battlestar Galactica without genocidal angst, now would it? Insurgents, resistance, suicide bombers. It's impossible not to draw parallels to what is happening in Iraq. (That would make the United States the Cylons, wouldn't it?)

Starbuck has been Leoben's prisoner for four months, and has killed him five times. What a strange duel to the death, with an enemy that cannot die. I thought at the end of last season that Leoben was searching for Starbuck for revenge, to torture her like she did him in "Flesh and Bone." Instead, it seemed that he was actually in love with her, and expected her to love him in return. That was exceptionally shuddery.

Nearly everyone looked different. Lots of extra hair everywhere, including facial hair. Even Helo, still in uniform, had a lot more hair. Lee got fat, which absolutely shocked me because they never do stuff like that to heroes on dramatic shows. Adama started getting grey hair, too. Well, they've both been under tremendous pressure.

And Colonel Tigh lost his right eye. (Well, he didn't actually misplace it or anything.) I was sort of amazed that Tigh turned out to be the tough, strong leader of the Resistance, almost as much as I was surprised that Ellen screwed a Cylon for Tigh's sake. I didn't think either of them had it in them.

The Cylons we saw here were the ones we already knew about. But the possibility that one of the cast is a secret Cylon appears to be getting more remote. If Ellen (my favorite candidate) were a Cylon, wouldn't she have tried to keep Tigh on Galactica? If Gaeta (my second favorite candidate) were a Cylon, would he be secretly aiding the Resistance? It also seems unlikely that anyone on Pegasus or Galactica is a sleeper Cylon, too, because they would have been activated by now.

What was really interesting was the amount of dissent among the Cylon overlords. They couldn't seem to agree about why they were there and what they should do about those troublesome humans. Brother Cavil actually wanted to reduce the human population to a thousand in order to keep them under control. At the other end of the spectrum, Adama has gotten very close to Sharon Two. How about that.

Why were the Cylons having meetings in front of Gaius? Gaius is now seen as a traitor to the human race. Well, he is a traitor to the human race. But Caprica Six's love for him might have kept the humans from going out altogether.

Bits and pieces:

— It has been 134 days since the start of the Cylon occupation of New Caprica.

— The cast was the same. There were a few new snippits, but the credits were much the same, too. Instead of a survivor number, it was changed to "The human race, far from home, fighting for survival."

— I thought Anders would have died from pneumonia by now. Maybe working with Tyrol and Tigh in the Resistance will kill him.

— Cally and Chief Tyrol had a baby boy named Nick. Lee and Dualla got married.

— Helo is Adama's XO, and Cat is now Galactica's CAG. Didn't see that coming. But who else is there?

— Those tattoos on Starbuck. Were they new? Did I just never see them before?

— The opening music again reminded me of the movie Gladiator.

— Let me say again how thrilled I am that they've added Dean Stockwell as Brother Cavil; he's a sci-fi god. I'm also grateful for Lucy Lawless. And Callum Keith Rennie. Hell, I love them all.

— There were ten "webisodes" in between seasons two and three. I had some technical difficulties with dial-up and wasn't able to see them.

— Using a dog as go-between for messages between Gaeta and Tyrol reminded me of Terminator.

— Sharon's cell got a lot more comfortable, with a sofa and coffee table.

— Elections were obviously a big mistake. Are dictatorships ever the right thing to do?

— There was a parental discretion warning.

Quotes:

Roslin: "It is simply not enough to kill Cylons. Because they don't die. They resurrect themselves and they continue to walk among us. It is horrifying."

Brother Cavil: "You're all living in a fantasy world. Consider the irony in that. (laughs) Delusional machines. What's the universe going to come up with next?"

More in my review of part two,

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

5 comments:

Patryk said...

So many changed to the status qou. It's like a spinoff. :) I'm liking it, but of course I'd prefer more ragtag fleet traveling through the stars. But judging from the episode titles they won't stay on New Caprica for long.

Actually the occuaption reminded me more of Nazi-occupied Europe during WW2. Effective.

Fat Apollo who would have thought, but I bet that's just prosthetics and a beer-gut double not Jamie Bamber getting so invested in his role. Reminds me of Peegy on Mad Men season 1. ;)

The webisodes are mainly a background for Duck and his choice at the end of the episode. Also they explain why Tigh is in Cylon custody. (Jammer's responsible, the Cylons convinced him that they want peace) The only regular cast in the webisodes were Tigh, Cally and Tyrol.

Jess Lynde said...

I was wondering if you would watch the webisodes, Patryk. Having watched them in the lead up to the S3 premiere, I found that Duck's and Jammer's choices and actions in the first two episodes (which aired in a two-hour block originally) had a tremendous impact on me. They had become more than third-tier characters to me, and I was devastated and physically sickened by Duck's story. Strong, strong stuff.

Mario said...

Thanks for the awesome review. It always strikes me how amazingly well written this show was. Better than most shows on tv now... and to think i was thisclose to scoffing and shrugging it off as another space trekkie nerd crap.
I don't have anything to add to the review, other than the fact that i'm grateful that even a show as introspective and innovative as this can still pull off a season premiere vibe. Allow me to explain: i just love shows that aren't afraid of shaking things up in season finales, especially in respect to character dynamics. Your favorite characters leave the town/setting/spaceship they've been on, exchange longing looks and leave you hanging there for an entire summer. My absolute favorite part is coming back from summer hiatus and catching up. How they coped, how they're faring, and then watch them make their way back to each other...come hell or high water. It allows for so many new stories, and new dynamics to emerge and can effectively drive the new season to new places, if the writers play their cards right. This episode is the perfect example for this.
Ok excuse my mad rambling. Just needed to vent this out. I miss BSG and i'm not afraid to weep loudly about it.

Baz said...

So after a brief hiatus I though I'd start on season three today... Wow, this show just keeps getting darker and darker huh?

Duck's suicide was painful to watch, though I didn't watch the webisodes prior to this, so I'll have to go back now and check them out.

They did an amazing job with the music this week, with the opening sequence in particular giving me tingles!
Also Adamas reaction when they made contact with the ground folks.
Can't wait to see how they get off new caprica as I have nearly no memory of the show past this point!

Oh and I think Anders suggested that Starbuck got him the medicine needed to cure the pneumonia - tho if it wasn't from Lee, did the colons cure him so she'd go with Leoben? I dunno.

magritte said...

This is one of my favorite season openers ever. Even though it's largely setup (as season openers often are), they threw our familiar characters into a bunch of new situations with remarkable efficiency. I was totally hooked into finding out what came next. And my god, I was thrilled to see a nuanced exploration of the moral territory of resistance and collaboration on American TV in the early 21st century. The New Caprica episodes were my favorite part of the show on its initial run and I'm still really impressed revisiting them now.