Battlestar Galactica: Sine Qua Non

Lee: "Why are you doing this?"
Adama: "Because I can't live without her."

I found this episode disappointing. And I'm a cat lover.

Yes, I got the symbolism. Losing Roslin was the last straw for Adama, just as losing his cat was the last straw for Romo Lampkin. But I honestly thought Adama was too disciplined, too focused on the survival of his people, to leave a total frak-up in charge of the fleet in order to chase after Roslin. I suppose I should accept that, strong as he is, Adama has the usual human frailties and limits. Evidenced by his blind spot about Tigh, for sure.

Adama and Starbuck did that "What do you hear?" "Nothing but the rain" exchange again that we've heard twice before: at the start of the series, and right before Starbuck "died." Adama has always been the touchstone character, and I was a bit disturbed by this hint that we might be losing the big guy. Yes, the series is winding down, but I don't want to see characters I love die. Even though Battlestar Galactica is definitely a Shakespearean tragedy ending kind of show.

Anyway. The other problem I had was stomaching the gagworthy possibility that Caprica Six is having Tigh's baby. Even though we don't know much about the Final Five, I thought Cylons couldn't knock up other Cylons? If the Final Five came from Earth, does that mean they're humans who can reproduce with other humans? Baby Nicky isn't special, after all? Was Caprica Six projecting Ellen in order to seduce Tigh because the seven Cylon models are desperate to reproduce, and for no other reason? The Seven don't know who the Five are. Right?

I've noticed that stories centered around Lee haven't been all that strong. They've attempted throughout the series to give Lee some interesting character warts, but he is still so upright, forthright and honorable that he can be a bit boring. Dan and I both thought Lee would become president; we saw this coming awhile ago. But the transition lacked drama, and that's saying a lot for an episode of Battlestar Galactica. It was, again, out of character for Tom Zarek to cede power so quickly, and why? Because Adama would never accept him as president? The same Adama who just resigned his commission to sit in a raptor and read a mystery novel?

(I mean, imagine that Tom Zarek did become president. Zarek appoints Lee as his vice-president. Zarek and Adama at each other's throats. Zarek is assassinated, Lee becomes president. Possibly too pat. But it would have been a lot more interesting.)

So I was confused and weirded out and I didn't like this episode. A huge power shift like this one should have been a lot more exciting. Plus what I really wanted to see was what was happening on the base ship with Roslin and Gaius and the Resurrection Hub. And we got nothing. It almost felt like we missed an episode. Yes, I have every confidence that we'll see what happened on the flip side next week, but still.

Bits and pieces:

— This week's survivor number: 39,674. One more than the last episode. More confusion.

— Apparently, the title meant "without which not."

— We lost Natalie Six. I liked Natalie Six. They never actually called her Natalie Six.

— Adama and Tigh at each other's throats was a surprise. More obvious symbolism, with Adama and Tigh breaking the model ship again during their fist fight.

— We learned that the Hybrid knows where the Resurrection Hub is, but only after a jump.

— Lee looked good in red. He looks really good in civilian clothes.

— We learned that Lee's full name is Leland Joseph Adama. I'm fairly certain we didn't know that. This is sort of circular, but I kept thinking that instead of president, Lee should be commanding the fleet.

Quotes:

Adama: "I'm afraid the brig is no place for a little girl."
And yet, that was where Hera ended up. Athena was back in the brig. The Sharons have spent a lot of time in the brig.

Lampkin: "Lampkin's first rule of legal dynamics: when an irresistible force meets a movable object, stand aside and wait for the class action suit."

Lee: "She's already been approached to run for office. No interest in politics."
Lampkin: "Sadly, now she really impresses me."

Adama: "She's the president. Not some frakking skin job I've been banging."

Tigh: "Maybe you're crazy enough to pull a stunt like this, but you can't be crazy enough to leave me in charge. In case you forgot, my last term at the helm was a complete disaster."
Adama: "You're not the same man you were."
You can say that again.

There aren't many poor episodes of Battlestar, but this was definitely poor. Am I being too harsh to give it one out of four stars?

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

2 comments:

Baz said...

It was ok... I mean I agree with the confusion over when Adama stepped down why would Zarek resign? I guess Tigh and Zarek would be even worse, but still...

I was glad to see Romo back, though, and while Adama stepping down seemed odd, his relationship with Roslin has obviously become one of his main drivers for surviving since New Caprica.

magritte said...

Generally agree with you on this one, Billie. It was kind of dull. As much as I love Mark Shepard,it was just so damned obvious it was going to be Lee, it felt like those scenes were just going through the motions to make him look all noble and not power-hungry. I mean, seriously, Starbuck as President?