Thursday, April 17, 2008

Galactica Log: Six Of One

'Six of One.' Last week's episode's title was 'He That Believeth In Me'. It's something Jesus said ten times in the Gospel of John, and usually attached to a promise of everlasting life. It might have referenced Baltar's story of spiritual awakening or Kara's insistence that she had found what they have all been searching. Either way, it worked. This episode's title is derived from the phrase, 'six of one, half a dozen of the other.' Meaning same old-same old. That doesn't fit the episode at all. This may be the season's second, or fourth if you include Razor, but this is where things finally started moving forward in new and important ways.

Working through the many events from least to most interesting - and I say that solely in terms of this episode, all of these changes will have significance - we start with the Four, Baltar, and Lee. The Four have decided they must know who their fifth member is and who knows the Cylons better than Baltar? Tigh, reverting back to the man who led the Resistance tells them that Baltar "is accomplished at two things - lying in a cell and lying in a woman." Tory is far from impressed with the idea of taking one for the team, but she soon finds herself courting the ex-President's attention. Tigh's right, though, and it isn't long before Gaius is chatting her up. He starts off with a hackneyed line about music and harmony, which should only raise the question of whether his success with women is based entirely on his celebrity, but it plays right into the questions that have been preying on Tory and the others. Before the show's over they are in bed together, becoming more emotionally intimate than she, and perhaps he, had planned. I can't help but wonder if he's found a new convert. I can just imagine Roslin learning her top aid is a follower of her most hated enemy. And a Cylon.

But Tory wasn't Baltar's only surprise visitor. He spent an interesting scene talking to himself. I mean, really to himself. Instead of Caprica 6 appearing, suddenly there was another Baltar! And not just any Baltar, but the same one who appeared to Caprica 6 back on Caprica. How do I know? They were dressed the same. Baltar seeing 6 has become such a normal event on the show, that we no longer ask why he sees her. Is there a common source for these visions?

Lee said goodbye to his military career and to Galactica. Apparently he is going to take Baltar's place as Caprica's representative on the Quorum of Twelve - something Zarek worked out for him. It would be hard to imagine him being allowed to quit such an important military post if he weren't the Admiral's son, but with Roslin's health in decline this could position him to replace her as president. After all, Zarek found a replacement for her once before. His goodbye came in two parts: first a party with shots and strip poker, then, a formal ceremony, with the President and Admiral in attendance, honouring him and his contribution. He was completely surprised by it and, frankly, looked about ready to cry. It certainly would have fit the scene's emotional tone. His divorce from Dee looks final. His last words to her, speaking of Galactica, were, "Looks like you got the house."

The hour's big events were Kara Thrace and the Cylons. The episode started where the last one left off, with Kara storming, armed, into the President's quarters. Roslin was so medicated she didn't know what was happening at first. She looks as though she were trying to figure out whether Kara walking through her door, surrounded by the smoke from her concussion grenade, was a vision. She quickly realised it wasn't. Kara demands I believed in you and went all the way back to Caprica on the strength of a vision, what can't you believe in me? She even gives Roslin her gun, telling her "I am no more a Cylon than you are." She really doesn't appreciate her credibility problems. Roslin replies, "They made you perfect, didn't they" and shoots! If she wasn't so medicated, that would have been the end of Starbuck. Tigh and the marines break things up and carry her off to the brig. Three is one too many times to hear Kara wailing "We're going the wrong way!"

This leads to a great scene between Roslin and Adama. He's just come back from Lee's party and is a little worse for drink. Lee toasted to absent friends and that brought Kara to his dad's mind (we can tell that because the Admiral was looking at a picture of her at the time). The President is staying in his cabin due to an explosion that took her's out last season. They aren't living together, but a lot of his stuff is still there. He goes to get some of his own alcohol as a nightcap and confesses his doubts to her. Maybe Starbuck does know the way to Earth. Roslin can't believe William the atheist Adama is having a crisis of faith. His response is some bitter words about her fears that her death will be as meaningless as all the rest. They know each other too well.

In the end, he decides to cut Kara loose. He has Helo pick a crew for her, gives her a garbage recycler and sends her off to find the way home. It will be interesting to see if any name characters are in her crew, but, as we know the fleet is going the wrong way, the journey to Earth will now be a separate storyline - one told independently of events on the Galactica. From her visits to Caprica 6, it looks like Roslin will be concentrating her energies on finding the final Five.

The other big event, easily the biggest change of them all, happened among the Cylons. It turns out that the Raiders did initiate their own withdrawal last episode, and did it without consulting the humanoid Cylons. Leoben, 8, the Boomer-Athena model, and a 6 the writers have dubbed Natalie (we haven't been told why) have, on listening to a Hybrid, decided that the reason was because the Five are among the humans. Apparently there is no way for the Raiders to simply tell them that. Cavil is dismissive. The Hybrids oversee ship operations; they don't "vomit metaphysics." They aren't supposed to talk of the Five. They aren't supposed to discover their origins. He clearly sees this as a threat to their existence and decides the Raiders are broken and need their higher brain functions cut. They vote. Cavil, Simon, and Aaron support lobotomizing the Raiders. Leoben, 8, and 6 are against. (That's models 1, 4, and 5, respectively, voting yea, and models 2, 8, and 6 voting nay.) It's a tie and no action can be taken, except... an 8, Boomer, decides to break with her model and vote with Cavil. This represents a second break in the solitary of the Cylons. No one has ever voted against their own model before.

Natalie might have responded by suggested they bring the Deanna model back so they can't have any tie votes, but that would require another vote. She might have argued that all votes be cast individually, rather than as models, as they are no longer voting along model lines. Instead she decides to seek a powerful ally. She removes the "telencephalic inhibitor that restricts the higher functions" of the Centurians. Now, like the Raiders, they are capable of acting independent of the humanoid models. Turns out they don't like what is happening to the Raiders and, being killing machines by nature, they quickly reduce the number of humanoid models to three. It was a scene Peckinpah would have loved. (Yeah, Peckipah. I started watching movies before Tarantino came along.)

The implications of this episode are immense. It will define the rest of the season. Now everyone but Kara will be concentrating on the final Five. It's interesting that Cavil believes seeking them will threaten their survival. Just what is the origin of the humanoid Cylons? And if Caprica 6 can sense they are near, and even Roslin can is dreaming of them, why hasn't Athena shown any awareness at all? Watching the Four meet I couldn't help but wonder when their get-togethers would draw someone's attention and it looks like Callie will be doing some snooping tomorrow. Bad news for her! The ratings are in for the episode. They were down by sixteen percent. That's a lot, but with the whole season now in the can, I don't know if it means anything in the end. Both Helfer and Moore are already looking ahead. She has a one year development deal with FOX, apparently with a drama in mind, and he is creating a new SF program, also for FOX. It will be called Virtuality and will involve a deep space mission in which crew spends their long hours in virtual reality programs. Yes, it's the return of the holodecks! Sounds like something we've seen before.

I special thanks to Terri Gaffney, lead singer of Phoenix Reign, for her help in solving the coding problems last week. You were a life saver!

1 comment:

Theresa Gaffney said...

*high fives* Glad to help! And great synthesis of the episode again.